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6, 2000 April, 2000

Highlights—January 24, 2009

  • New York Times: I.B.M. Tops Forecasts for the Quarter. By Steve Lohr. Excerpts: Samuel J. Palmisano, I.B.M.’s chief executive, said in a statement that “a strong fourth quarter capped an outstanding year.” Despite the global economic turmoil, he also expressed confidence that the company could reach its earnings goal of at least $9.20 a share for 2009 — well above Wall Street’s recent expectations.

    Some analysts had predicted that I.B.M. would announce as many as 10,000 staff cuts, or 3 percent of the work force, to trim costs in a weak economy. But trimming, Mr. Palmisano wrote in an e-mail message to employees Tuesday, is not the company’s current strategy.

    “Many companies today are curtailing or drastically cutting spending and investment, even in areas that are important to their future,” Mr. Palmisano wrote. “We are taking a different approach, not only because we have the financial strength to do so, but because we choose to manage I.B.M. for long-term success.”

  • Hudson Valley Times Record-Herald: IBM cuts almost 3,000 jobs Even more layoffs are expected next week. By Christine Young. Excerpts: An internal document obtained by the Times Herald-Record shows 1,449 IBM workers in U.S. Sales and Distribution — including 146 vice presidents — lost their jobs this week, in addition to 1,419 in the Software Group that an employees' organization says were also laid off. So far, layoffs at Big Blue have hit almost 3,000 North American workers, and many more cuts are expected next week. Some of those cuts were at IBM Poughkeepsie and IBM East Fishkill, but how many was unclear on Friday.

    In a departure from past practice, IBM would not say how many jobs it is slashing or where. Throughout most of January, IBM corporate spokesmen have told reporters they would not "comment on rumors or speculation" about looming layoffs.

    That refusal by Big Blue to control its own message transformed Alliance@IBM into a de facto mouthpiece for the latest round of cuts, which totaled 2,868 as of Friday afternoon.

    It was only after dozens of newly discharged IBMers posted messages on the alliance Web site that the company admitted job cuts were taking place. On Friday, alliance national coordinator Lee Conrad said Big Blue had blocked its employees' access to the group's Web site.

    IBM's stonewalling is in sharp contrast with other tech-industry layoffs — such as those at Microsoft, Intel and Google — that were publicly acknowledged, quickly reported and relegated to one-day news.

    The cuts at IBM, meanwhile, have leaked out slowly and painfully over a period of weeks. On Friday, the Record obtained a copy of the severance package for U.S. Sales and Distribution, where scores of sales executives, vice presidents and distinguished engineers have joined the ranks of the unemployed.

    Beyond confirming layoffs that IBM has otherwise refused to acknowledge, the document shows Big Blue's commitment to helping displaced employees. The company has extensive plans in place to assist those workers, and much of the 73-page document outlines programs and benefits for those laid off, such as the option to extend life insurance.

  • ZD-Net: IBM job cuts underway. Posted by Larry Dignan. Excerpts: We’re getting numerous instant messages, pings and posts about IBM layoffs going down today. The exact number of layoffs–or even if the job cuts are material enough for Big Blue to disclose–is unknown. The official site for the IBM Employees Union–Alliance@IBM–has a bevy of individuals telling their pink slip tales. The news comes just a day after IBM surprised Wall Street with a strong fourth quarter. Calls to IBM weren’t immediately returned. ...

    Judging from the comments, it looks like IBM’s software unit is taking the biggest hit. That move isn’t entirely surprising given the number of software acquisitions Big Blue has completed over the years.

  • Poughkeepsie Journal: IBM is cutting jobs; maybe some locally. By Craig Wolfe. Excerpts: Job cuts that began Wednesday within IBM Corp. will likely be seen in the divisions that have large numbers of employees in Dutchess County next week, according to the head of a workers group. The company confirmed "resource actions" began Wednesday but refused to comment on specifics or sites involved, or any plans. Lee Conrad, national coordinator for the Alliance@IBM, said from reports he's getting from people inside the company, "Systems and Technology will get hit Tuesday - East Fishkill, Poughkeepsie and Burlington; Fishkill and Burlington the heavy hitters." ...

    The day after IBM reported rising profits and a year that was its first as a $100 billion company, it began the nationwide series of cuts. Spokesman Doug Shelton confirmed IBM management had notified some employees about "resource actions," the usual term for large-scale job eliminations. "We are not going to discuss specific numbers or locations. What I can tell you is that managing resources and skills is an ongoing component of our business model," he said in an e-mail.

  • Hudson Valley Times Record-Bulletin: IBM workers brace for ax. Say layoffs to come in 3 waves. By Christine Young. Excerpts: Storm clouds are gathering over IBM's facilities here, where employees say they have more confirmation that the ax is about to fall. The workers, who requested anonymity, say "a huge layoff" will come in three waves — office workers and engineers on Friday, and factory workers on Tuesday and Wednesday. Alliance@IBM, the union-backed group representing Big Blue employees, was also flooded on Wednesday with reports of job cuts at sites nationwide. "Austin, (North Carolina's) Research Triangle Park and the Boston area, pretty much all over the country," said national coordinator Lee Conrad. "We expect further cuts the rest of the week and next week." ...

    An IBM East Fishkill employee said some workers have already been let go after receiving unsatisfactory performance appraisals. Many workers believe IBM wants to make the cuts before Feb. 1, when a new state law goes into effect requiring companies to give 90 days notice of mass layoffs. "I heard five people were asked to leave on Sunday," the employee said. "Normally, the manager has until the end of January to do the appraisals, but this year they had to be done by the first two weeks of January." "They're using MIS — managment-initiated separations — where they lower people's work evaluations to force them out the door," Conrad said. "That's not the same as resource action. There's less severance, less notice, and it's not reported like a resource action."

    Yet another worker said that while IBM shows stunning profits, "none of that money trickles down to the employees." IBM spokesmen have said the company will not comment on rumors or speculation. "That's how IBM does it," Conrad said. "They don't announce it. They just start cutting and let everyone scramble and guess how many are cut and where."

  • iReport: IBM Employees Ride to the Bottom. Full excerpt: In the Midst of IBM making record profits, they continue playing hard ball with their employees. There are substantiations that there is a huge layoff in the process, however, IBM is not commenting. Where is the man with bravery that is running this giant of a company. With 400,000 employees world wide and presently around 86,000 in India, the Out-Sourcing continues.

    Just how many employees are left in the USA? Why is this Resource Action (layoff) such a secret? Is IBM Being accountable for the Tax Dollars it is receiving from local and federal government? Why doesn't CNN cover this story to get IBM executives to be real brave american citizens and Speak up? Maybe Microsoft can show them how to be accountable by explaining the press conference they held for their 5000 layed off this week. It has been leaked out by a reliable managerial source that the layoff is around 14,000 employees. Most of these to be US Based. It is also estmated that IBM US Based employee count is decreasing quite rapidly. When will we hear a report from CNN? Other dirty politics by IBM recently, is they are Forcing system's administrators to relocate within 50 miles of commuting to one of their Global Delivery Facilities. Question: Is IBM sleeping with someone at CNN?

  • TheStreet.com: Five Reasons IBM's Not All That. By Michael Goodman. Excerpts: After a 15% decline in the S&P 500 Index, it turns out we just needed a little help from IBM, eh? Shares of the technology giant led the market higher (as they like to say) on Wednesday, following a fourth-quarter earnings report on Tuesday that blew away analysts' estimates while also delivering an uplifting projection for 2009 profit. ...

    Not to spoil the party or anything, but it seems like a decent time to flick a few kernels of reality into the proceedings for those digesting the assertion that the company's report signals an all-clear for the company, the tech sector and the overall market.

    In that spirit, then, are a few reminders of why IBM's announcement wasn't exactly the sound of immediately delivering us all from the prospects of a muddle-through economy and with it, a range-bound stock market:

    • Revenue did stink. Funny how the whole missing-analysts'-revenue-forecasts-by-more-than-a-billion-dollars thing wasn't at the forefront of investors' minds on Wednesday. Nonetheless, the company's top line has retreated: Six months ago, IBM's second-quarter revenue rose 13%. In the third quarter, it rose 5%. For the fourth quarter, revenue fell 6.4%. Currency adjustments aside, that sort of trend isn't a ringing endorsement of IT spending health. ...
    • EPS growth isn't net income growth. One grew 17%, the other grew 12%. While the company's run-up in EPS to $3.28 from $2.80 drew Tuesday headlines for its 25-cent thumping of analyst's projections, it's less impressive when you realize the company got 32 cents a share in help from a lower tax rate and stock repurchases. It sort of makes you wonder how "organically" the company was going to get to $9.30 a share next year. ...
    • Margins might be nearing a peak. The company did a solid job boosting gross margins in its tech services and business services divisions by about 5 and 6 percentage points, respectively. But investors might wonder if the company can be as efficient if this year's first quarter proves as demanding. While some rumors suggested the company would lay off as many as 16,000 employees (4% of its workforce), IBM said that its 2009 workforce "rebalancing" would be merely in "kind of a normal range." Whether the company can preserve margins without such a slashing will be a key to the first half of this year.
  • Yahoo! IBM Employee Issues message board: "Normal range?" by Lee Conrad. Full excerpt: Loughridge at the end of the analyst meeting in response to a question stated that 1st quarter job cuts would be in the "normal range". What the heck is normal and what is the number?
  • Yahoo! IBM Employee Issues message board: "Re: Normal range?" by "mr_quarkwrench". Full excerpt: Don't know about the number but the normal range does not include executives and very few managers. Oh, and don't be old.
  • Yahoo! IBM Employee Issues message board: "Re: Normal range?" by "teamb562". Full excerpt: Scott Craig – Banc of America/Merrill Lynch: Thanks, good afternoon. Mark, one thing on the restructuring opportunities here, it sounds like you are just pulling forward a little bit of what would be some normal workforce reductions. But in an environment like this that seems tougher than we have seen over the past couple of years, and even you're pointing to some revenue challenges, is there an opportunity to do some larger restructuring outside of the realm of what you would consider normal?

    Mark Loughridge: Well, let's look at the restructuring in the quarter to begin with. I mean if you just look at the yield off that fourth quarter restructuring, that alone would improve our spend base by about $1 billion in 2009 which we expect to drop to the bottom line. So I think it already has a fair amount of yield in it. And if you look at the restructuring that we have done, in most years, and you can go back some time, we do about $300 million to $400 million of restructuring that consistently drives improvement in our cost base. We did more of this year. In 2008, it was a little north of 700, but if you take out the Japan action, we are back down about $580 million. So I think we have got a good plan there. There will be, as I said, some acceleration in 2009, but the total 2009 workforce rebalancing number will be in kind of normal range. And as a look across all of the actions that we are taking on cost and expense and spending, I think we have a very good plan and a very good hand to play as we go into 2009. You've certainly started to play out in 2008.

  • Yahoo! IBM Employee Issues message board: "Re: job cuts happening today" by "paul_dow". Full excerpt: True. I am one of the people affected. I am not sure should I spend my last month in IBM at internal job search, or use this time for my education. Once you get the 30 day notice, you can't get another internal job. Make a feeble effort to look so you comply with the separation terms.

    Another person who got axed when I did went all the way through the process. Willing to work 3rd shift too. Perfect fit for the job. Manager wanted him. The day he was supposed to start he got word he couldn't transfer. The problem is that if you take another job, they would have to fire someone else to take your spot.

  • Hudson Valley Times Record-Herald: Big layoffs beginning for Big Blue. Employee group says IBM not talking. By Christine Young. Excerpts: Many believe IBM wants to make the cuts before Feb. 1, when a new state law goes into effect requiring companies to give 90 days notice of mass layoffs. Questions about the layoffs, e-mailed Thursday by the Times Herald-Record to IBM spokesman Doug Shelton, were not immediately answered. "IBM is not saying anything," said Conrad. "What's especially upsetting is that IBM has its hand out for public money, but they're unwilling to let communities know what the number of job cuts are. They have an obligation to say how many jobs cuts there are when they get taxpayer money."

    Using money from New York state. On Dec. 15, 2008, in fact, New York taxpayers made the first installment on a July deal with Big Blue to create and maintain jobs through 2011. "IBM did receive a disbursement of $45 million," said Empire State Development Corp. spokesman Warner Johnston. "At that time, they had met all of their job goals." Those "job goals" were to not lay off any permanent, regular full-time IBM East Fishkill employees for five months — until the end of 2008. Now it's 2009, and in October, another $20 million is due from New York taxpayers. "We'll review at that time whether they've met job and investment goals," Johnston said.

  • Jim Hightower: Bringing Fairness to the American Workplace. Full excerpt: It’s a scream to hear corporate chieftains insist that there simply is no more need for unions in America. “In the sophisticated work place of the 21st century,” said the head of the National Association of Manufacturers, “The need for unions is obviated.”

    Oh, really chief? Let’s see, for years now, workers have dramatically increased their skills and productivity, only to be rewarded with declining wages, elimination of health care benefits, cancelled pensions, constant downsizing, and the steady offshoring of middle-class jobs. Meanwhile, as CEOs enthusiastically ax workers, they extravagantly jack up their own pay and perks.

    Not only are unions needed, there is a widespread yearning for them. A 2006 poll found that 68 percent of Americans believe that labor unions are necessary to protect working families – a percentage that’s undoubtedly climbed as our economy tanked in the past couple of years. Indeed, another survey finds that 60 million Americans would join a union tomorrow if they could.

    So why don’t they? Because the rules have been deliberately rigged during the past 30 years to make union organizing next to impossible. For example, of those who even try, 20 percent get fired outright. Also, in an organizing campaign, union representatives are not allowed inside a business to talk to employees, yet every employee can be forced to attend one-to-one meetings with company bosses, who make clear that supporting the union would be a bad career move. And even if employees vote to form a union, top executives can simply ignore them.

  • US News & World Report: For Retirement Security: Get a Pension. By Emily Brandon. Excerpt: Simply finding a job in 2009 will be challenging for many people. “But if you can, seek an employer offering a traditional pension,” advises Beth Almeida, executive director of the National Institute on Retirement Security. “Pensions offer what Americans are looking for: the security and peace of mind of a regular monthly check that lasts as long as you do with payments continuing to your spouse even after you're gone. It’s a much better solution than on your own retirement that is subject to the wild volatility of the financial markets and can run out.” The average pension and annuity income for retirees over age 50 was $16,989 in 2007, according to the Employee Benefit Research Institute. Public sector pensions were considerably higher, averaging $23,721, while the typical private sector worker got $12,721. If you add Social Security and a little bit of personal savings to those pension amounts, you should have a fairly comfortable retirement in most parts of the country.
  • Washington Post: Your Company's Fund Is Bruised, but Don't Worry. By Nancy Trejos. Excerpts: ad_icon Both 401(k)s, which are managed by individual workers, and pensions, which are managed by plan administrators, have exposure to the stock market. But if your 401(k) loses value, which many have in the past year, you have to take the loss and hope that the market will recover over time. If your pension loses its value, you are covered in a number of ways, said Alan Glickstein, retirement consultant for the consulting firm Watson Wyatt Worldwide. If a plan is underfunded, Glickstein said, "the benefit that's been earned to date is protected."
  • BusinessWeek: Why You'll Work Through Your Retirement. The recession is only one of several trends combining to change the way Americans live out their golden years. By Chris Farrell. Excerpts: There is a major social and cultural message in the current economic collapse for the future retirees of America: Forget retirement. That's right. The recession is making clear what we've suspected for a long time. The concept of not working and embracing leisure for the last third of one's life isn't practical for most people. ...

    Our image of retirement is still shaped by the early decades after World War II. The elderly poverty rate plunged thanks to Social Security. Older Americans gained universal health-care coverage with Medicare in 1965. And Corporate America offered workers defined-benefit pension plans based on a salary and years-of-service formula. It was in these years that retirees developed a distinct lifestyle captured by the mass migration to Sunbelt communities, traveling in RVs and bus tours, spending long mornings on the golf course, and other recreational pursuits. The development of modern retirement is a great social achievement of the 20th century. But in the 21st century, the underlying economics of retirement are changing. ...

    Indeed, the current pension system (i.e. 401k's) is making everyday retirement insecurity worse. Employers have embraced defined-contribution savings plans like 401(k)s. But 401(k)s don't deliver a steady stream of income during one's golden years. There's also plenty of evidence that workers with access to defined-contribution savings plans aren't taking full advantage of them, either. But wait, there's more: The health insurance system is widely acknowledged to be broken and is a strain on family finances. Even with Medicare coverage after age 65, the elderly are finding it necessary to pay for a greater percentage of their overall medical bill.

  • SmartMoney: 10 Ways Outsourcing Could Alter Your Life. By Anne Kadet. Excerpts: As anyone who's tried calling their cable company knows, many U.S. firms have slashed costs by outsourcing things like customer service to India, the Philippines and other countries with lower labor prices. But why stop there? Turns out, there's no limit to the sensitive tasks that companies are exporting to the Third World. Whether it's a matter involving your health, education or finances, there's a good chance some lesser-paid worker thousands of miles away has been trusted with the outcome. To follow: ten jobs shipped offshore that you probably didn¹t really want to know about.
  • Channel Register: Satyam boss 'invented' thousands of staff. And took their wages, prosecutors claim. By John Oates. Excerpt: Satyam founder Ramalinga Raju added 13,000 invented employees to the firm's payroll so he could siphon off their wages, Indian prosecutors have claimed. Raju allegedly funnelled the money off through family members and used it to fund more than 400 land deals. Satyam claimed to have 53,000 employees, but in reality this was closer to 40,000, authorities claim. The prosecutors also told a Hyderabad court that Raju had admitted forging documents to support his fraud. Raju's lawyer denied the claims.
  • BusinessWeek: Six Signs You Don't Care About Workers. How to gauge whether your company's happy talk about employees being its best asset has any basis in reality. By Liz Ryan. It has become a sad cliché: "Our People are our Greatest Asset." That hackneyed phrase doesn't mean anything in particular, so it's an easy bit of boilerplate to stamp on hallway posters and marketing brochures. When certain employers do elevate their talent-retention and team-welfare initiatives to the level of strategic priority, it's obvious.

    Google is a hot stock, but it's even hotter as a desirable workplace because of the attention paid to hiring and keeping the best folks on board. When companies talk about valuing talent but don't put that talk into action, it shows. As a business leader, there are easy ways to gauge whether the happy talk about employees has a basis in reality. Here are our Top Six not-walking-the-walk red flags:

  • Forbes: HP chief Hurd got pay valued at $34 million in '08. By Jordan Robinson. Excerpts: Hurd, 52, saw the value of his compensation in fiscal 2008 jump 31 percent over the previous year, according to AP calculations. The increase reflects the prosperous period HP enjoyed before the economic meltdown hammered the stock and cut into HP's profit. Hurd also exercised $10 million worth of stock options and had $15.7 million worth of HP stock vest during the period, according to a regulatory filing Tuesday by the Palo Alto, Calif.-based technology company. ...

    When the company's current round of job cuts is complete - HP is slashing 24,600 positions, nearly 8 percent of its 320,000 workers - Hurd will have cut nearly 40,000 jobs in two big rounds of layoffs since he took the job. Under Hurd's watch, HP has also regained its title of world's biggest personal computer manufacturer from Dell (nasdaq: DELL - news - people ) Inc., though Dell has been stealing some of that ground back with a new retail strategy.

  • The Huffington Post: Obama's Sober Sermon on the Steps. By Arianna Huffington. Excerpts: He touched on the same theme when he described our "badly weakened economy" as a consequence of not just "greed and irresponsibility on the part of some but also our collective failure to make hard choices and prepare the nation for a new age." Mature people make hard choices; childish ones, in the words of the new president, "prefer leisure over work" and "seek only the pleasures of riches and fame." ...

    Obama also made a point of honoring "the doers, the makers of things." As opposed to those who make thing up -- like, say, credit default swaps.

  • San Francisco Chronicle: Lose your job? There could be tax surprises. By Kathleen Pender. Excerpt: If you lose your job, you could be in for some tax surprises - some nice, some nasty. If you receive unemployment benefits or severance pay, cash in a retirement account or have a big change in income, your tax bill could be much more - or less - than you expect. To avoid surprises, here are some tips.
  • BenefitsBlog: Second Circuit Reinstates Age Discrimination Case. Excerpt: In this previous post here, I have written about how targeting for layoff those employees who are costing the company more when it comes to health care costs or pension costs is unlawful under ERISA Section 510. The Carras case, however, involved targeting for layoff an older employee who was costing the company more when it came to his salary. (Benefits were not discussed.) Unfortunately, the case involves what is probably a likely scenario in our day: an older higly-paid worker being replaced by a younger less-experienced worker for "cost-cutting" reasons. Excerpt from the case...
  • ZD-Net: Can IBM sustain its momentum? By Dennis Howlett. Excerpt: It’s amazing how after years of clamoring for the top line, financial analysts have woken up to earnings quality as a measure of success. That is best exemplified in IBM’s better than expected Q4 results which Larry Dignan dissected a short while ago.

    At one level you have to ask yourself how a company that is posting so many negative year over year numbers garners so many plaudits. The answer comes in three flavors. First, as Larry points out, IBM is adept at cost management. In the highly lucrative software division, margins crept up to 87.7% in the final quarter. If IBM works a bit harder on this then they could top out very close to 90%. That difference alone could yield an extra $1 billion to the bottom line. That’s before building in anything for potential growth, the second flavor. ...

    Let’s be clear. IBM is no Web 2.0 company. Its DNA is still rooted in a bygone age where the real deal is around services. It’s almost complete lack of business blogger representation at Lotusphere and strong focus on Notes engineers is telling. Sure, they’ll get a lot of oohs and aahs from the faithful but savvy buyers see straight through that. Even so and given that the company cannot realistically apply premium pricing to products that have low or no cost equivalents in the marketplace, the Notes>Web 2.0>service play is a natural. ...

    But the real nugget is the $117 billion global technology and services backlog. This is a feather bed that other companies can only dream about. It provides the kind of assurance that stock pickers dream about in turbulent markets. The only question now is whether companies can find ways to renegotiate those deals in a general market that has yet to hit the recessionary bottom.

  • Forrester Research: Can Your Offshore Providers Deliver Business Innovation? By Sudin Apte. Executive summary: Wide gaps exist between what clients call innovation and what their service providers are building. Most clients want their suppliers to deliver value in their customer-facing, business-impacting work. But offshore providers still focus mainly on cost-saving and efficiency-boosting solutions. While gaps exist between the buyers and the sellers on the definition of innovation, firms need to appreciate the innovation value hierarchy and set expectations accordingly. To evaluate innovation's value for your company, Forrester segments IT services innovation into three categories and scales the value that each category provides. Sourcing professionals need to understand their provider's innovation preparedness and encourage them to build higher-end skills to deliver strategic, business-side innovation.
News and Opinion Concerning Health Savings Accounts, Medical Costs and Health Care Reform
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  • Consumer Watchdog: Follow the (insurance lobby's) money. Posted by Judy Dugan. Excerpt: In the race to influence health care reform, the insurance industry and major corporations just made a big score in the toy department. RAND Corp. today announced a new online "analytic tool" of health reform proposals for "policymakers and interested parties." It leans hard toward having individuals pay for their own private insurance. It and completely omits a true public insurance choice like opening Medicare to all, much less any kind of single-payer plan. It's all free-market, all the time. Here's why--the list of the project's funders:
    To date, funders include the following: AARP; Abraxis BioScience, Patrick Soon-Shiong, MD, Founder, Chairman, and CEO; Aetna Foundation; Alcoa; Amgen Foundation; Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts; California HealthCare Foundation; The Funari Family Foundation; General Motors Foundation; Johnson & Johnson; Karen Katen; Charles N. Martin Jr., The Martin Foundation; Pacific Business Group on Health; Pfizer; RAND Corporate Endowment; RAND Health Board (designated gifts from individual members); Robert Wood Johnson Foundation; John J. Rydzewski; Leonard D. Schaeffer; The Suzanne Nora Johnson and David G. Johnson Foundation; United Health Foundation; and Wellpoint Foundation.

    That's four major health insurance companies and four pharmaceutical companies, other medical industry-allied foundations, including the Blue Cross-funded California Health Care Foundation, and GM. No wonder the "tool" is such an elegant, well-built toy--lots of informational popups, colored interactive boxes and decisions made in advance about what works and what doesn't.

    In the "analysis tool" above (here's a link to the actual page), the health-care payment option with the most pluses (in RAND's opinion) is "individual mandate," in which individuals must prove they've bought health insurance, or face tax penalties. That turns government into a customer-delivery system for insurance and drug companies, while lightening the burden on employers.

    The most efficient potential reform and one favored by the public in various polls, is opening federal Medicare or something like it to all comers. Yet it isn't even on RAND's list. There's no kind of single-payer, universal health insurance option. Yet the list above does includes individual tax credits for buying coverage, which every published analysis shows is the most expensive, most regressive and least efficient option.

  • New York Times: Health Care You Can’t Afford Not to Afford. By Walecia Konrad. Excerpt: With the recession in full swing, more and more Americans seem to be putting their health-care needs on the back burner as they struggle to handle monthly bills and day-to-day expenses. About one in three Americans say their family has had problems paying medical bills in the past year, according to a recent poll by the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonprofit research group focused on health care. More alarming, almost half of those surveyed said someone in their family was postponing or cutting back on medical care they said they needed.
News and Opinion Concerning the U.S. Financial Crisis
Minimize "It is a restatement of laissez-faire-let things take their natural course without government interference. If people manage to become prosperous, good. If they starve, or have no place to live, or no money to pay medical bills, they have only themselves to blame; it is not the responsibility of society. We mustn't make people dependent on government- it is bad for them, the argument goes. Better hunger than dependency, better sickness than dependency."

"But dependency on government has never been bad for the rich. The pretense of the laissez-faire people is that only the poor are dependent on government, while the rich take care of themselves. This argument manages to ignore all of modern history, which shows a consistent record of laissez-faire for the poor, but enormous government intervention for the rich." From Economic Justice: The American Class System, from the book Declarations of Independence by Howard Zinn.

  • The Consumerist: Merrill Lynch CEO Spent $1,220,000 On Office Renovation As Company Prepared To Burn. By Ben Popken. Excerpt: Merrill Lynch CEO John Thain spent over $1.22 million to renovate his office in early 2008, just as his firm was getting ready to slash thousands of jobs, cut back on spending and dump businesses. Here's this douchebag's big-ticket tally of personal aggrandizement in the midst of financial crisis:
  • Jim Hightower: Banker Bonuses. Full excerpt: O bitter bile and gall, the wretched unfairness of Wall Street’s ongoing debacle is almost too much to swallow. I speak, of course, about the heart-breaking plight of top banking executives, who’re having to forego portions of their year-end bonuses. As the CEO of Citigroup explained in an internal mailing to assorted executives: “The harsh realities of 2008… mean that our bonus pool is dramatically lower.”

    Wow, keen insight, chief! This financial conglomerate, which was at the center of the banker greedfest that has now wrecked our economy, lost tens of billions of dollars last year, got a $45 billion bailout from us taxpayers, is now splitting itself apart, and is seeking another bailout.

    Yet, instead of requiring the whizzes at the top to pay back their entire 2008 salaries and resign in shame, the CEO puts on a sad face and breaks the news that bonuses for the 10 members of Citigroup’s “senior leadership team” will be down at least 40 percent. Excuse me, but that means they’re still getting about 60 percent of their bonus money. Bonuses! For a historic level of abject, embarrassing, destructive failure!

    Well, say apologists for such pampering of corporate elites, if Citigroup cuts too deeply into the compensation of these favored ones, it risks losing their talent. Excuse me again, but losing them to where? Wall Street is not exactly on a hiring binge these days, and even if it was – who’d want this bunch?

    There banker's obscene sense of entitlement is more powerful than a black hole, sucking up all traces of reason and humility. Still, a Harvard business professor recently tried to explain away the bonus grab as merely an image problem. Now that taxpayers are “part of the equation,” the professor postulated, “how things appear is important.” It’s not the appearance that disturbs me, it’s the reality.

  • Jim Hightower: Doing Time, the Madoff Way. Full excerpt: That Bernie – what a guy! Bernie Madoff, I’m talking about, the world-champion Ponzi schemer who has confessed to bilking some $50 billion from investors in his felonious hedge fund, wrecking lives in the process. Bernie being Bernie, though, he didn’t just pick on strangers – many of his personal friends and close associates were also suckered. In fact, he even ripped off his 74-year-old sister for about $3 million, forcing her to sell her home. As an incredulous neighbor asked, “What kind of person scams their own sister?”

    Well, a person like Bernie, who’s been living his scam for years and getting away with it, so he keeps trying to get away with ever-more escalating outrages. In fact, even now, the authorities are feeding his sense of special privilege. For example, rather than being in jail – as any far lesser crook would be – he’s under house arrest, comfortably ensconced in his $7 million Manhattan apartment.

    While in the privacy of his swank prison nest, Bernie has tried to stash about $300 million worth of his ill-gotten loot with friends and relatives, so his victims can't get it through court actions. For example, he sent out three packages on Christmas Eve containing more than a million dollars worth of precious gems, Tiffany watches, and such. When this ploy was detected, Madoff’s lawyer claimed that these were merely “a few sentimental personal items,” and that poor Bernie had innocently failed to realize that it was wrong to dispense assets bought with other people’s money.

    Astonishingly, a judge let him get away with this, requiring only that all valuables in Madoff’s apartment be inventoried, so they can be checked periodically. But – get this – the judge allowed Bernie himself to do the inventory!

    In America, if you steal a little, go to jail; if you steal a lot, go to your penthouse.

  • New York Times: Obama Plans Fast Action to Tighten Financial Rules. By Stephen Labaton. Excerpts: The Obama administration plans to move quickly to tighten the nation’s financial regulatory system. Officials say they will make wide-ranging changes, including stricter federal rules for hedge funds, credit rating agencies and mortgage brokers, and greater oversight of the complex financial instruments that contributed to the economic crisis. ...

    Officials said they want rules to eliminate conflicts of interest at credit rating agencies that gave top investment grades to the exotic and ultimately shaky financial instruments that have been a source of market turmoil. The core problem, they said, is that the agencies are paid by companies to help them structure financial instruments, which the agencies then grade. “Until we deal with the compensation model, we’re not going to deal with the conflict of interest, and people are not going to have confidence that the ratings are worth relying on, worth the paper they’re printed on,” Mary L. Schapiro said in testimony earlier this month before being confirmed by the Senate to head the Securities and Exchange Commission. ...

    Administration officials have begun to study ways to control executive compensation. For example, they are preparing proposals to limit executive pay at companies that receive money under the bank bailout program. In response to written questions by Senator John Kerry, Democrat of Massachusetts, Mr. Geithner said that in such circumstances the administration was planning to set a limit and that any compensation over that amount would “be paid in restricted stock or similar form that cannot be liquidated or sold until government assistance has been repaid.” “Excessive executive compensation that provides inappropriate incentives,” Mr. Geithner said, “has played a role in exacerbating the financial crisis.”

  • New York Times: No Time for Poetry. By Frank Rich. Excerpts: Yet the values of the bubble remain entrenched even as Obama takes office. In the upper echelons, we can find fresh examples of greed and irresponsibility daily even without dipping into the growing pool of those money “managers” who spirited victims to Bernie Madoff.

    Last week’s object lesson was John Thain, the chief executive of Merrill Lynch. He was lionized as a rare Wall Street savior as recently as September, when he helped seal the deal that sped his teetering firm into the safe embrace of Bank of America on the same weekend Lehman Brothers died. Since then we’ve learned that even as he was laying off Merrill employees by the thousands, he was lobbying (unsuccessfully) for a personal bonus as high as $30 million and spending $1.22 million of company cash on refurbishing his office, an instantly notorious $1,405 trashcan included.

    Thain resigned on Thursday. Only then did we learn that he doled out billions in secret, last-minute bonuses to his staff last month, just before Bank of America took over and just before the government ponied up a second bailout to cover Merrill’s unexpected $15 billion fourth-quarter loss. So far American taxpayers have spent $45 billion on this mess, and that’s only our down payment.

    In less lofty precincts of the American economic spectrum, the numbers may be different but the ethos has often been similar. As Wall Street titans grabbed bonuses based on illusory, short-term paper profits, so regular Americans took on all kinds of debt wildly disproportionate to their assets and income. The nearly $1 trillion in unpaid credit-card balances is now on deck to be the next big crash.

New on the Alliance@IBM Site
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  • Alliance@IBM CWA Local 1701 press release. Full excerpt: Alliance@IBM CWA Local 1701 Presses IBM to Save Jobs and Stop Off- shoring of US Jobs. IBM Corp. employees nationwide are anxiously waiting for the company to publicly announce the number of job cuts likely to take place in the United States. "The Alliance is strongly urging IBM not to go forward with a new round of job cuts and to stop the off-shoring of U.S. workers' jobs," said Lee Conrad, national coordinator of the Alliance.

    Alliance@IBM CWA Local 1701 outlined several steps IBM should take to maintain quality jobs and service and address the company's financial picture:

    • IBM must make every effort to save jobs.
    • If cost cutting is needed, IBM should suspend its stock buyback program – the company has spent $26 billion since 2007 -- instead of terminating workers.
    • If job cuts occur, IBM must divulge the number of job cuts, where they are taking place and whether any of these affected jobs are being shifted offshore.
    • Executive positions should be eliminated in divisions where job cuts occur.
    • Pay, bonuses and perquisites for executives should be slashed.
    • Work cannot be shifted from IBM workers in the United States to offshore locations.
    • Full disclosure of why individual jobs are being eliminated is essential.
    • Before any new hires are added to the payroll, IBM must recall and rehire employees terminated in past resource actions.

    "There is a growing concern among employees that IBM will accelerate the off-shoring of our jobs. To offshore U.S. jobs in the middle of an economic crisis and rising unemployment is simply unacceptable," said Tom Midgley, Alliance president. "We will work with our elected representatives to push for legislation that protects U.S. jobs and calls for the full disclosure of IBM's offshoring and outsourcing of American jobs."

    To help break the secrecy of the IBM job cuts, the Alliance has a section on its web page called Job Cut Comments. Go to http://www.allianceibm.org/jobcutstatusandcomments.php for news, information and stories from IBM employees swept up in job cuts.

  • Job Cuts Status & Comments page
    • Comment 1/21/09: 34 S&D Employees in NY area notified today - 30 days to find a job. All of Executive Business Institute. A real kick in the face after announcing record earning and record profits. -Record Earnings-
    • Comment 1/21/09: I just got surplussed in S&D Last day is in a month. Been with the company 16 years. 1 week for every year is package. All this while the stock is booming. -ex-IBMER-
    • Comment 1/21/09: So my spouse, from Golbal Services, was just "invited" to go to Boulder, ( we're on east coast) with no relocation. He told if he didnt go/accept he could apply for another position within IBM, (where, in India?) is this the ploy for IBM to get out of paying severance?. PLEASE ADVISE ... -shameonIBM-
    • Comment 1/21/09: SWG Worldwide Enablement (60% cuts are rumored. Lost my job. 2 weeks every year severence up to 26 weeks. Giving 1 month to find a job (ha ha) -as expected-
    • Comment 1/21/09: IBM just laid a hot dump in Markham. I just got resourced in Markham, IBM Canada. All .com mission gone from IBM Canada - funding cut. -dotComerFromMarkham-
    • Comment 1/21/09: So I'm watching for any news releases related to all these layoffs. When (if ever) will IBM make them public? It is kind of sad to have layoffs after an overall positive 4Q when all other companies are posting losses. Stock's up 9% right now....and they're laying folks off. Unreal. -another_nickname-
    • Comment 1/21/09: Littleton Mass. Information Management. Resource actions being announced in one-on-ones today. 30 days to find job in IBM. Up to 26 weeks severance. IBM pays its share of health insurance for up to 1 year. -Jo Hill-
    • Comment 1/21/09: Work in SWG, development org for big product. Just got the axe, 30 days to find something else. *Was told* 15% of organization was getting the axe. All while the company exceeds analysts' 4Q expectations. Brilliant. -quelle_surprise-
    • Comment 1/21/09: Software Group across the US has apparently been hit today. No word of how big the cuts but have seen at least 15% in parts here in RTP. Management has been shuffling select employees around to new projects since early December here in RTP and now are making cuts in the groups those select people were safely removed from. -SWG-RTPer-
    • Comment 1/21/09: 26 years at IBM, always 2+ perfomer with several 1's. Joined new division, sponser left...project was in trouble, remains that way, won't listen on how to fix it and now I'm a scapegoat...given a 2 last year, 3 this and now gone..Sad to see what has become of this company -Miss the old IBM-
    • Comment 1/21/09: I was RA'd in November. I'd like to understand who is getting 2 weeks of severence for every year of service. I got ONE year of severance for every year of service up to 26 weeks. Is there a new double standard in IBM that gives 1 week of severance to certain people and 2 weeks of severance to others? I think this is another scam that IBM is perpetuating. Give 2 weeks to some and 1 week to others. Is this legal? -Anonymous- Alliance Reply: There are no US labor laws that govern how an "At Will Employer" distributes or even offers a severance package. However, a union contract can be written to do so. Translation: You're on your own without a contract in writing.
    • Comment 1/21/09: I'm in SWG sales (Calif). Was told by my 2nd line in December I was targeted but he was trying to 'protect' me; start looking. Anyway I got a call from my 1st line and was told I'm safe (for now). I'll most likely continue to look as IBM isn't a good company to work for anymore. By the way, my 1st line confirmed today's (1/21) the day and that cuts are 'deep and wide'. For those questioning severance, from what I've heard from several of my friends that got RA'd, it's 2 weeks/year of service with 6 mos max. You're given 30 days to find a job (but jobs don't exist). The severance is a single payment and if you're re-hired before your severance, you forfeit any remaining and repay IBM. Good luck to all. -Still Employed for Now-
    • Comment 1/21/09: The cuts in SWG are: 25% in Development and 35% in Marketing/ other. People are being notified today. I have always had a 2 or better rating. No rational explanation was given for why my job was being eliminated. I have until Feb 23 to find another job or I am gone. Two of the three people let go from my group of eight have more than 25 years of service. I pointed this out in the discussion with my manager. He had no comment, but thought this whole thing is crazy. The package is 1 week for every year of service. I have 4 names of people with greater than 25 years of service in SWG that received notice today. I would like to submit those names privately to the alliance so that we can bring a class action suit forward. -SWG age dicriminated-
    • Comment 1/21/09: A lady in S&D with over 30 yrs called in for her PBC, given a 2+ and then told she was part of the resource action. Given 30 days to find another job. IBM = Inconsiderate, Barbaric, Morons -Rick-
    • Comment 1/21/09: 6+ years at IBM. Have been a 2+ and 2 performer. This year got a PBC 3.. The reason manager gave was the ranking is relative and based on your peers.. :-( Have not heard anything on RA.. In GBS org. By the way, does anyone know of any concequences of getting PBC 3 and getting laid offf. Does it affect your unemployment benefits.. Please advise -anonymous-
    • Comment 1/21/09: Santa Teresa swg got hit today. Managers are talking to everyone. -married_to_an_ibmr-
    • Comment 1/21/09: Just got the package offer. 1wk for every 6 months. That would give me 20 weeks. I should have seen this coming, but working from home, I was caught completely unaware. -10year-
    • Comment 1/21/09: Software Group in Austin. I got the same treatment as others report today. 26 weeks severance, gone Feb 23. Was told the percentage is 5%. -anon-
    • Comment 1/21/09: SWG-Rational, development, 8 years of service, 2-rating, given 30 days to find a job... with 2 young kids -torontolab-
    • Comment 1/21/09: Our Tivoli group lost four of six people. Severance offered is one week per every week of employment (from most recent start date). Final day is roughly four weeks from today. Some extension on insurance based, if I remember from the meeting, on time served. -Tivoli SWG-
    • Comment 1/21/09: Based on the package I received the number getting RA'd for SWG is 1419. Not sure if this is US or Worldwide. -SWG-RTP-
    • Comment 1/21/09: Yes, it is happening in Toronto Lab. Worked in the lab for 17 years and my service is no longer needed. -Just Got Cut-
    • Comment 1/21/09: my ibm office site is now blocking the alliance web page. from the office all i get is time outs, but from home I connect clean and quick -anon-
    • Comment 1/21/09: Looks like STG got hit very hard.. I have 5 friends that got laid off today, one with 32 years and high PBC evals -anonymous-
    • Comment 1/21/09: CM in SVL got hit. Was told 10% is affected. Given 60 days to find new job. 2wk pay for every 6 month of work. -svl-er-
    • Comment 1/21/09: By my counts about 800 software engineers are selected in the action. 330 Staff, 280 Advisory, 120 senior, and others. -annon-
    • Comment 1/21/09: today is d day. at least 10 I know are affected, myself included. two weeks per year. sad to say but i will be glad to be gone. to all those that talk negative about Sam ("Sammy??") - dont forget he works for the shareholders. in such economic circumstances, cant we agree he is serving them well? whether its sustainable remains to be seen. personally i am afraid hes throwing the baby out with the bathwater. for one, he will certainly miss me when im gone. -MissMeWhenImGone
    • Comment 1/21/09: One of guys on my team in SWG just told me about the Resource Action. He told me there are hundreds on the list in the package. -Linus-
    • Comment 1/21/09: I don't understand. I was just hired at the Fishkill site making 75K. I don't think IBM is doing layoffs. Check out monster.com because they are hiring 20 Windows jobs in Fishkill. It's not a perm hire. -Glenn MC-
    • Comment 1/21/09: I was laid off today out of the San Francisco office was given 30 days to find a new job and two weeks pay for every year I was with IBM. I have eight years in the company -Software Sales-
    • Comment 1/21/09: looks like i was hit in swg action. 2wk pay for every 6 mos and continued medical. so much for all those previous awards and high pbc rankings. -13yrsgone-
    • Comment 1/21/09: RA in Tivoli Storage Software Development today, 1rst line managers notifying people who are/aren't affected. My manager indicated that 7 or 8 people were being let go from the 3rd line organization (250+ non-managers), so percentage in this org appears to be small. Nobody (according to 1rst line mgr) in my immediate department was let go. -TSM Development-
    • Comment 1/21/09: to -concerned-phd- Better be concerned. Having a PhD doesn't mean you're any better off than anybody else in the company. The good news is you will be better off finding work after the fact. RA decisions are made at too high of a level to sort through individual skills and abilities. I was RA-ed a couple years ago, but already had something lined up internally. In my case I had least seniority, wasn't a brown noser and spoke my mind. Skills, educations, effort has nothing to do with it. The site has become blocked for me too. Never had a problem before. This must be herd control. -another-phd-
    • Comment 1/21/09: The Ebusiness Administrator group was contacted by their managers. Approximately 90 people given an 'invitation' to say whether they would move to Boulder, CO by March 3rd to report by March 9th onsite. No relocation. Along with the 'if you choose not to we expect you to help us through the transition period' statement ie (train your replacement). -Tony-
    • Comment 1/21/09: Got my call today - my role is being "cut". Worked in S&D, 10yrs. Cuts seem to be all over as many have stated. Never thought I'd find myself posting here. -pruned-
    • Comment 1/21/09: to Glenn MC Fishkill - that's a GDF if I'm not mistaken - of course they're hiring there. $75K - just out of curiosity, what did you get hired to do? -another_nickname-
    • Comment 1/21/09: To Glenn MC... I attribute your comments to naivete. I am personally aware of layoffs (RA) in S&D and SWG that happened TODAY. It is not unusual to hire people in one area while laying off in another. Good luck! -RTP Grunt-
    • Comment 1/21/09: Out of the blue, I was I was told my job ends Feb 23rd. I have a perfect record with 13 years working at IBM. Head count was the issue. I am being forced to take early retirement which I can't afford to do right now. -Anonymous-
    • Comment 1/21/09: IBM ECM Labs - Costa Mesa, CA - at least 5 that I know of, at all levels. Rumor has it most if not all of the developers will be replaced by India. There's that BRIC thing again. Personally, I am a contractor - they need me for hands on admin of servers in the lab. THAT cannot be done remotely. (Well, we will see). -1bigdog-
    • Comment 1/21/09: I don't understand these cuts. I'm on a one year LOA with a 3 PBC (political, never below a 2+ before), with no intention of returning, and I didn't get hit. -anonymous-
    • Comment 1/21/09: Our team in above-region SWG sales got cut 40% -hiding-
    • Comment 1/21/09: To Glenn MC: The term "layoff" is being used erroneously. This is a Resource Action (RA). It has nothing to do with whether they are hiring temps for other positions in other depts at other sites, etc. If your dept is targeted you are gone and you are not on some kind of list to be re-called to work when something magically improves. You are replaced by cheaper labor. -CheapLaborEvenWithABadge-
    • Comment 1/21/09: I'm from STG and I was told this morning by my manager I was safe, I'm concerned about my team though -safe_for_now-
    • Comment 1/21/09: Tivoli Atlanta Lab was told it will be closing. All resources out by 2/23. -MP-
    • Comment 1/21/09: My manager stated during the mtg to tell me I was safe. the layoff target is 4% of current IBM workforce. I'm concerned about my team though -Safe for now in RTP-
    • Comment 1/21/09: Looks like the prediction from 'Markham' about d-day in Canada on Jan 21st appears true...2 people on here posted they got RA'd and 2 people I know in Software Support also. Anyone know of anyone else? total casualties? -DM-
    • Comment 1/21/09: To the Alliance: the separation package has an attachment with the titles, and ages, of everybody who got laid off in SWG (US and Canada). Has someone sent it to you? If not, I can. Give me your snail mail address. By counting every entry on that list, you'd get a total figure of the SWG casualties. I assume GTS and other groups would follow the same process. So, by collating the info for different groups, you can get to a total layoff figure. -soon-to-be-ex-SWG- Alliance reply: Our address is Alliance@IBM, 415 Main Street, Johnson City, NY 13790
    • Comment 1/21/09: I haven't heard of anything in the Lotus division yet... will they be hit at a later date...? -Hiding Under The Desk-
    • Comment 1/21/09: Got my RA notice this morning. Pretty good package, although I am traveling so have not read the whole thing yet. If I am offered another job in IBM and I do not take it, do I lose my right to my package? BTW, my package is 2 weeks for every year up to 6 months. -metoo
    • Comment 1/21/09: Been with the company for 10 years, moved to a new team early last year. Was ignored by the new team, so had to fend for myself for the most part. PBC rating was a 3, and got the axe today. SWG Toronto Lab. -NotSurprisedInToronto-
    • Comment 1/21/09: SWG has a monster list of "selected" employees and "unselected" ones who remain. No names of course, just the job family title, age, and number of employees in each category. Not sure there's much ageism going on here since every age group is getting the shaft. Looks like hundreds. Only 4 VP's on the list of selecteds of course. -quelle_surprise-
    • Comment 1/21/09: Inside sales was destroyed. This makes no sense. IBM wants to improve mid-market sales, yet they do this. Stupid is as stupid does.... -Tele-
    • Comment 1/21/09: "I don't understand. I was just hired at the Fishkill site making 75K. I don't think IBM is doing layoffs. Check out monster.com because they are hiring 20 Windows jobs in Fishkill. It's not a perm hire." Glenn MC, where have you been? Have you been reading the boards here? IBM has been hiring, grinding them up, and spitting them out. You may have been hired for $75K today but that doesn't mean IBM won't lay you off tomorrow. The IBM company is a mean grinding machine to its employees. Without a union contract for the employee IBM will continue to act this way. Please support the Alliance with your dues. -IBMer-
    • Comment 1/21/09: Sales Operations - Top Performer - Got the call today - Mngr said Sales Ops lost 40% of total group - have until 2/23 to find something else - I have 15 years with company.... -anon-
    • Comment 1/21/09: Oh Oh IBM !! Oh Oh IBM !! You IBM keep sending Jobs to China Indi a and Brazil and ditch and backstab people who worked for decads. We all need to fax letter to Obama at white House there will me more unemployment claims due to IBM layoffs, We need to tell Obama not to belive Sam of IBM, I think Sam wants some of Federal Money as he saw many CEO's getting free money he is making a plan I guess. -Ramki-
    • Comment 1/21/09: Confirming WW SWG IMC is no more. Approximately 8 in total. 30day and 2 weeks for every year. Including myself. -Had it!-
    • Comment 1/21/09: Anyone cut from IBM Rochester? I'm looking to tally numbers by roll call if I have to. I'm Jeff Kiger, the business editor @Rochester Post-Bulletin. IBM is not releasing numbers or location details. If you want this reported in media, speak up. I will not report names, if you prefer not to have them public. But I'd like names to confirm you are an IBMer. I want a true number, if possible. -Jeff Kiger-
    • Comment 1/21/09: Try 1000s of people instead of 100 who are part of the SWG resource action. I would know because I got the actual packet - yep, I'm an outtie. -Anon-
    • Comment 1/21/09: Our group was told we have to report to Boulder on March 9th if we want to continue our employment with big blow. If we turn down the job, there is no severance, ibm considers us to have voluntarily resigned. To the folks who were RA-ed. I know it is of little consolation, but please keep this in mind. It sucks being RA-ed, but you get to walk away with a package. Imagine not getting anything? -Tough Cross to Bear-
    • Comment 1/21/09: I just got notified today as well. Almost 10 years, in SWG, PBC 3 this year, and I was fully expecting it. I'm actually kind of glad. I've been looking for a career change for awhile, and also a move from California. So, it was no "big" deal for me. But, that's not to say i'm bitter. I think I wasted 8 years of my life in IBM, and should have left much sooner. People were telling me then I was wasting my life away being here. Anyways, that's my fault. Better 10 than 30 years of hating my job. -MSG-
    • Comment 1/21/09: SWG RTP was hit widely today. While I was called into a conference room and told I was safe, I'm quite frustrated with the business at this point. I've been a strong performer but don't trust senior management to be straight up anymore. -RTP-SWG-Guy-
    • Comment 1/21/09: Hello Everyone. The new Dubuque IA GDC (GDF) site is a part of the "LEAN" movement. Some people will be given a M&L $ but only a very small %. I am in the SSO group & our team was asked to submit (yes or no) if they would be "interested" in relocating. Even by answering "Yes" does not guarantee you a job. Also note that if you do move it is a one-way ticket. Plus everyone should note that at anytime any job could be removed and you could be in a worse situation than before. Not all of the 1300 jobs will be new hires. We were told that a small % will be from folks like us who wants to keep their jobs. All that we can do now is hope that we can somehow make a change in the hearts and minds of our leaders, both in this company and our newly elected officials to see that the once proud American Dream is quickly becoming a thing of the past. Good luck to us all and truly may God Bless America and her future! -Zuki-
    • Comment 1/21/09: IBM Canada, (Markham and Toronto), at least 2 that I know, plus myself. Bands 6 and 7. PBC ratings range from 2 to 2+. Headcount was the issue. Any idea whether signing the separation package is beneficial or better to get a lawyer? -anonymous-
    • Comment 1/21/09: Austin Texas, SWG, 28 people out of 45 cut. young and old, top and bottom performers. Never show me great 4Q numbers again. This company doesn't care about anything anymore. Basic beliefs, my ass -John Doe-
    • Comment 1/21/09: we got hit today...10 percent of the group got let go...and after record quarter and record year...they do exactly what they want without fear or reprisal...they got some nerve. -justanotherbrickinthewall-
    • Comment 1/21/09: I have also been watching this site over the past few weeks, hoping and praying that the rumours would be wrong, but once again, unfortunately, they proved to be correct. I've been a solid performer for many years...today I was told that I am a 3 and would be part of the RA. I am in SWG Canada...been told my employment will be terminated on Feb 20. 2 weeks of severance for every year of service. -ThrownOutLikeTrash-
    • Comment 1/21/09: "..dont forget he (Sammy) works for the shareholders" Yeah, and he exercised 542,000 shares earlier this year since he is a major shareholder. Then he cuts hard working IBMers who made IBM a $100B company. Greed has consumed him. Let him burn in hell after final judgement. Maybe he can grease Lucifer for a less hotter place down there! -no_prayers_for_Sam-
    • Comment 1/21/09: "Stock's up 9% right now....and they're laying folks off. Unreal. -" No it is real! Very real. Wall St. loves folks losing jobs in a company since it costs less to the company so it's stock price usually goes higher. Why you think Sammy and his cronies did this RA now? So they can line their f%$#ing pockets with more stock option gains. -anonymous-
    • Comment 1/21/09: Tivoli Software Developer Atlanta - End of life the TSOM product All but two employees were RA'd -anon-
    • Comment 1/21/09: IBM Atlanta - Entire team has been RA'ed. after the usual announcement we made a good quarter blah blah. -Anonymous-
    • Comment 1/21/09: Does anyone know the method to the madness of RA's? How were those laid off selected? If they were done at such a high mgmt level (as everyone alleges), what were the stats for the employees they looked at? Is there a formula or something? They couldn't have possibly known the worth of the target to their department without at least a minimum amount of discussion with the first line manager, which is why I'm not believing that first lines had *nothing* to do with it. -quelle_surprise-
    • Comment 1/21/09: Got laid off today. Last day is 2/23, 4 days shy of eligible for retirement. SWG RTP, NC -JobLost-
    • Comment 1/21/09: I am a good IBMer who did the right thing and do things right. Under an a$$hole manager, which got me into predicament that got me in trouble. I can only blame the fault at myself. I should of jump out when I had the chance... -Burn Fired-
    • Comment 1/21/09: I am an ex IBMer who lost his job to off shoring. I have heard of a TAA through the federal labor department that will help me retrain. I need to prove that I lost my job to off shoring 8/2007. Is there some template example that has already been formed or composed from someone that has already been in my shoes? Thanks in advance. -anonymous-
    • Comment 1/21/09: The BusinessTone application group that was placed under Global Business Services experienced 8 layoffs in 2008. There were 3 in Feb of 08 and the rest of us were laid off in Oct 08. This resource action affected nearly half of our total group. It was poorly handled by the newly installed and under qualified management team. I enjoyed working with our overseas clients and websphere applications, but was disgusted by the poor decision making of inexperienced management. They were NOT earning their pay. -David-
    • Comment 1/21/09: Does anyone know the d-date for GBS employees? -anonymous-
    • Comment 1/21/09: RA'ed, Software Sales, still counting the thousands listed in package. Recruiters told me not to spend more than 2 years in sw sales at IBM as the market views IBMers as "lame sales people who settle for not making much money. " Gee, I have noticed none of the top performers from acquired sw companies stick around.... I should have listened - I have made less on average at IBM and that includes several years of serious quota overachievement. Now I am out while a couple of very junior wannabes with less revenue attainment stay

      There are good folks at IBM in some areas - but the RAMPANT nepotism and in-fighting between SWG, GBS, etc has killed the software sales effectiveness. I'm sorry I did not find a new role last year and encourage anyone reading this to GET SERIOUS and make a move when you think things are screwed up. Might not have prevented me from RA, but at least I would have grown my skill set for future career options. You must TAKE what you want/need from IBM. To those wondering about lawyering up - Legal advice for peace of mind is a good thing but my attorney says it is only worthwhile if egregious behavior occurred BEFORE the RA. (In my case it did) May God bless my fellow RA's and the Alliance team - my prayers go out for every one of you. -2 years max-

    • Comment 1/21/09: Victoria, BC, Canada 5 lost 4 Developers 1 Quality Engineer On a product that exceeded all other Lotus products in the last Q. -worried about my job-
    • Comment 1/21/09: New York, NY - S&D - All my teammates are remote. Out of 7 of them, 3 were laid off, including me. This follows 2 laid off at end of Nov. We were told that our positions were no longer needed. What a joke. -Canned in Manhattan-
    • Comment 1/21/09: S&D , RTP - redbooks team hit at least 3 i know -anon-
    • Comment 1/21/09: Add one RA in AIM SWG L3 Support. One month notice so the action must be small. -Anonymous-
    • Comment 1/21/09: I know of at least 7 people across various orgs who got notice today. We all knew it was coming but it sure is hurts when it happens, People with families, homes, etc. This is bad -'.'anonymous-
    • Comment 1/21/09: Les Vandor's a lawyer and radio talk show host in Canada, "the rule of thumb is one month for every year of service...is often the guide used by employers and some courts." <Link> -Don't sign without a lawyer in Canada-
    • Comment 1/21/09: Tivoli (Austin) -Heard that the security area is planning to move 2 development projects to Singapore (where our 2nd line has been for the last few months coincidently) so our new project that was just shipped was hit with RAs (7 so far that I heard). My guess is so that those old product developers can move into the RAed jobs and it looks like no jobs were lost due to outsourcing. It looks to me that the security area has done this for years since the days of Directory Server which now is totally developed in India. -Secretly Outsourced-
    • Comment 1/21/09: I stumbled on Alliance two weeks ago and have been monitoring the comments until now. I suspect many ibmer's are not aware that the Alliance exists as I was not. I was notified I would be a part of an upcoming resource action. My management has been very suppportive however I was still flagged. I am part of S&D IBM Federal and have made significant contributions over the years.

      I took the high road and started looking for a position when informally notified. As previously stated in this site, all internal positions were frozen. I looked outside of the company and have been fortunate to have several good interviews. However, I was officially notified TODAY of the HR action. The Alliance has been spot on. Good luck to everyone. I have enjoyed my time with the "family" and time to move on. -ellen-

    • Comment 1/21/09: To Metoo.. Correct if you're RA'd and offered another job but don't accept it, the package is null and void. They want you out of the company. Remember this is a head count issue. -Safe and knocking on wood-
    • Comment 1/21/09: Got laid off today. Last day is 2/23, consecutive 2+ PBC, S&D ATLANTA -Anonymous-
    • Comment 1/21/09: 4 out of 9 in my group today. Seen in coming with the automotives. Seen it coming. Many are gone. -Lost in Detroit-
    • Comment 1/21/09: Got the AXE today, 30 years and 2 days. S&D. This is NOT the company it was. Here's to a better future for all! Leadership is an oxymoron at IBM! -Glad_ I_ got_ the _hell_ out-
    • Comment 1/21/09: Seems that every team in SWG Information Mgmt had to shed at least one person. -Anonymous-
    • Comment 1/21/09: Hey JobLost, If I was you and being let go 4 days before I was able to retire I would go straight to Sam on this one. What have you got to lose? Certainly not your retirement. Good luck and may God be with us all. -Anonymous-
    • Comment 1/21/09: Lots gone from Tivoli Netcool in Bedford MA..QA...Tech.Pubs....Eng.......shipping jobs to Ireland it seems .... PBC ratings didn't seem to have much influence, just the team you were on. -IBMer from MA-
    • Comment 1/21/09: Location: Lexington, MA Division: SWG (Software Group) Business Unit: Rational software client support How many jobs: ? Management met with every employee individually today Jan. 21 to say "a resource action has occurred today. This is not about performance -- this is about being financially responsible in the current economic climate. Affected employees have 30 days to find other employment within IBM. If they are willing to relocate, they may be able to find something." I was not told how many total people at our location were affected, but the rumor around the office was 15-20 (about 3-6% of the jobs at our site). -Anonymous-
    • Comment 1/21/09: I just wanted to take this opportunity to thank each and every IBMer for their hard work and dedication over the past year which resulted in our reporting sales of over 100 billion dollars. We each share in this extraordinary success. On a personal note, I want to thank you all for the really really big bonus I'll be receiving. I cant tell you how happy I am. However I'm sure you could have done better and theres always room for improvement which brings me to my next point. You're fired, have a good day. -SAM-
    • Comment 1/21/09: To -JobLost- If you are so close to retirement, then you probably have enough vacation and personal holidays to cover the four at the end. So don't spend them now! Hang on and plan/negotiate to use them as your last four. I suspect someone will work with you on is. -Manitoba-
    • Comment 1/21/09: With record profit, IBM still laid off people, shame. -Anonymous-
    • Comment 1/21/09: Layoffs to happen in three waves!! Times are tough at Big Blue. Net profit was only up 12 percent to 4.4 billion. A Union is a must to counterbalance this corporate greed!! http://www.recordonline.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20090121/BIZ/90121057 -Anonymous-
    • Comment 1/21/09: It sounds like managers are calling people on the phone to fire them. I don't mean to sound childish, but they can't fire you if you turn off your phone for the rest of the week can they? -delay-
    • Comment 1/21/09: I thought this was abunch of propaganda, especially after reading Sam's e-mail yesterday. What a fool I was. They just juice the stock by laying people off, and then lie to everyone in sight. My heart goes out to those laid off. -Aghast-
    • Comment 1/21/09: IBM just screwed me over. I'm a supplemental for 2+ years and they've told me to find a job in 30 days. I'm the best sales reps they had and they do this to me. I just purchased a 400K house! WHAT DO I DO?? How can they get rid of a valueable sales rep like me? I'm going insane -Anonymous-
    • Comment 1/21/09: Hi, I'm Sam Palmisano, CEO/Chairmain/President of IBM Coporation. I just want to say I'm very excited about my 2008 bonus. These job cuts allow me to get more stocks. I only care about the shareholders. All the employees are like number to me. Even Obama is buying my BS on Stimlus package for IT. :-) PEACE! -Anonymous-
    • Comment 1/21/09: I was RA'ed today. SWG at SVL. 12 years as employee, more than that as a contractor. 2 months + 2 weeks/year. Can't complain about the package. IBM used to be good place to work, not any longer. Last few years, every time I think it can't get any worse, it would get a lot worse. Actually relieved that it's finally over. Problem is short term profit is now more important than long term, and money more important than people. -relieved-
    • Comment 1/21/09: I suppose it was inevitable that eventually I'd be right where so many of my friends and colleagues have found themselves. I to have been effected as part of what seems like a sizable resource cut here in the US. I am/was part of S&D. I had a decent run closing in on 10yrs. Truth be told, I feel some relief in the thought of not having to work 5 jobs under one role. -Pruned But Hopeful-
    • Comment 1/21/09: 10 years with IBM Rational & GBS - all PBC 1's or 2's. I'mterrified. I havent heard anything about my group, but just waiting for the call. What a horrible thing -Rational scared-
    • Comment 1/22/09: 25 years 2, 2+. 30 days. Wish I had known sooner. -Another statistic-
    • Comment 1/22/09: Interesting - one person writes that he has until 2/23 which will be his last day. Clearly hasn't read the package since he actually has until 2/23 to find a new position, which does not mean all is over yet. Yes he is being paid for a month to find a new, better job in IBM. Perhaps that's why he's in the position he is now, because he only sees the empty part of the glass not the full part. I know plenty of people in the same position as you that found new, better jobs and are still at IBM. Use your month of paid job searching time to examine all the options, and maybe learn some new skills that will make you attractive to a different IBM manager. -Here Now-
    • Comment 1/22/09: Informed a pbc rate 3 first. Protest to upper managers by showing emails of previous email of being harrassed... then got lay off package -harrasedandlaidoff-
    • Comment 1/22/09: I can say for certain it's not about PBC ratings. I was a 2 this year and last , Before, i was always a 2+ or 1. Today a peer was resourced with a "1" rating . Yes a 1. No rhyme or reason to this RA -ex-IBMER-
    • Comment 1/22/09: I have always been solid performer for my whole career. I was surprised with a "3" rating and was RA'd. The reason was "my relative contribution compared to my peer was not enough" I don't belive this to be true but It's something can't fight since management gets to decide on how this is measured. SWG, RTP, package was 2wks/yr of service, capped at 26 weeks -28years-wasted-
    • Comment 1/22/09: To quelle surprise - In all my experience, here is the formula: if (for whatever reason) your 1st line likes you, s/he will find a way for you to stay. If your 1st line doesn't like/trust/care about you, you are gone. It's really not something you can change by working harder; that's why a Union is needed. What's with this "Sammy works for the shareholder" BS?! Sammy works for (in order) 1) his customers, 2) his employees, then 3) the shareholders. Oops, sorry, was thinking it was 50 years ago. My bad!

      To all those affected by the most recent firings - please remember that you are all (hopefully) going to be working in other companies, where you may be in a position to recommend vendors of computing equipment and/or services. Remember how you were treated by IBM. I know I do. I make my recommendations for HP/Sun/Dell/Microsoft at every opportunity.

      To all software developers who will need jobs - for what it's worth, *please* consider the field of medical informatics. I did, and I now work for a large, well respected academic medical center which actually treats its employees with respect, including yearly raises and a traditional pension plan. Having IBM on my resume opened a lot of doors, and going back to graduate school didn't hurt either. Good luck to all. -Gone in 96-

    • Comment 1/22/09: We were fortunate to lose just one actual head, but we had several (frozen) reqs which we have now been told no longer exist. Fortunate in that we only say goodbye to one body but we are already cut to the bone and past. I am in support in SWG, I heard that developers were getting tossed to the curb too. 10% at our site (Lexington, MA) at least. -Still here-
    • Comment 1/22/09: I'm sure that all of you people posting your job loss have been reading this site for years. You knew it was coming. Either band together and get this Union off the ground or stop crying. It's too late for you and the union now. The time to band together is before this crap happens. Pick yoursleves up and find another job. It's gonna be a long hard winter but you can do it. You all knew it was comin so what are you yackin about? -don't_cry-
    • Comment 1/22/09: 1/21/2009 - I worked in SWG at the Silicon Valley Lab. I noticed my boss was in early (8:30 this morning - he usually strolls in about 10:30), and he called me in to give me the bad news. Managers at IBM function solely as an HR function. He could not tell me what projects I worked on, nor what my priorities or schedule was, and yet he was able to make the determination that I was to go. Everyone else has described the package and terms fairly accurately. The one thing in it that was breath taking is that to get the package you have to sign away your rights to bring suit later. -Anonymous-
    • Comment 1/22/09: "I am a good IBMer who did the right thing and do things right. Under an a$$hole manager, which got me into predicament that got me in trouble. I can only blame the fault at myself. I should of jump out when I had the chance..." This happened to me too. I honestly think this is the IBM Way. The managers act like A$$holes and set you up for failure when they decide they don't want you. What a way to run a business. If IBM continues like this nobody will want to work there except for a$$hole managers. IBM has become a very ABUSIVE environment to say the least. -Fried too-
    • Comment 1/22/09: RTP - WebSphere lay off cuts Release Services Project Managers (2 from my 5 person team so far) -Anonymous-
    • Comment 1/22/09: From my perspective there are no layoffs taking place. The jobs are moving outside the US, with India and China being the primary locations. Sam announced yesterday that the IBM employee population is 400K, that is more than it has ever been that I am aware of. Greed and unbelievable lack of integrity reign supreme! -Stil_employed-
    • Comment 1/22/09: IBM Toronto Lab (under WAS) - Got RA'ed yesterday. 7 years of service (latest hiring was 2 years ago). 30 days to find a job. TOTAL of 2 weeks of seperation pay. I'd like to get a total count of people affected in the Toronto/Markham Lab, because if 50 or more employees is terminated within a four-week period, the seperation pay should be more (http://www.labour.gov.on.ca/english/es/guide/guide_15.html#mass). -anonymous-
    • Comment 1/22/09: NYTimes Jan 21---"Some analysts had predicted that I.B.M. would announce as many as 10,000 staff cuts, or 3 percent of the work force, to trim costs in a weak economy. But trimming, Mr. Palmisano wrote in an e-mail message to employees Tuesday, is not the company’s current strategy. “Many companies today are curtailing or drastically cutting spending and investment, even in areas that are important to their future,” Mr. Palmisano wrote. “We are taking a different approach, not only because we have the financial strength to do so, but because we choose to manage I.B.M. for long-term success.” Approach is hire 20% in BRIC, give 10% PBC 3 in USA, let go on poor performance. Just cleaning house of "dead wood", not cutting spending. Oh yeah, and we let go those 'other' workers in the USA "because we choose to manage I.B.M. for long-term success.” -out_smarted_you-
    • Comment 1/22/09: quella surprise there is no magic formula to the ra process. the 1st line does a "lifeboat"exersize and feeds that info to the up lines. the 1st lines get a chance to "defend" their people. the 2nd lines rerank the project and feeds the info to the up lines. same process. the division decides on the "cut" line. All below the line are let go. if you are a good asskisser you may be saved. if you have good exposure to the up lines you can also be saved. the only other way is if a customer cancels a project , then the whole team gets fired. oh your pbc is usually reflective of your ranking.there are high 2's and low 2's. good luck -retired-
    • Comment 1/22/09: I lost my job last year in RTP while out on workers comp..job sent to Brazil..had worked at another location years ago when IBM really cared for their employees..working here at RTP, I felt like a slave...low wages, lots of extra hours and no thanks from the dumbest manager anyone could ever have. Kind of glad I didnt have to go back, I hated working in the area i worked in and with the ppl..good luck to everyone..i dont understand much about IBM even though I had 18 years..seems the more work you do they less they are thankful. Always had good PBC ratings but to me they were more about personal feelings rather than how well a worker was doing. Good Luck to everyone... -Dee-
    • Comment 1/22/09: I was whacked yesterday. 29 years 10 months........interesting that there is zero news about IBM and the mass firings.....very stealthy. -Lexington-
    • Comment 1/22/09: 8% cut in DB2 SWG, Markham, Canada -db2-
    • Comment 1/22/09: I cringe once again, as I read these comments. Same as it was when I was RA'd in 2002. PBC's don't mean anything, and first line management's hands are basically tied. If you are not a star in your particular area, you are on the potential chopping block. I look back now and wish I had never started working for such a large company. You are basically a number......unless you truly stand out with upper level management.

      I started green from college and got PBC 2's for 3 or 4 years. Got stock options in 2000, and got 3's after that, and was let go after my second 3, along with 1000 others in SWG Rochester. Management is two-faced, and hires dozens of college hires to dothe same job, less than 2 months after all of us were let go. People are still there programming that couldn't write code to save their butt. But I got let go.....there is no rhyme or reason. I am just glad I got a good severance package, and unemployment, and moved on to a smaller, more family like company......like IBM used to be. -leftalongtimeago-

    • Comment 1/22/09: I'm part of IBM STG, and we're getting laid off on Monday. I know SWG in RTP had 1400 layoffs. I don't know who much we will have, but I'm expecting to get fired. Time for a change anyway. -Anonymous-
    • Comment 1/22/09: Yep, part of the SWG massacre yesterday. To be honest, I just received a PBC 1 and thought I might manage to skate through this one. Wrongo! If anyone has bothered to check out the SWG package, the list of "not selected" employees is kind of funny, in a twisted way. I, for one, didn't realize that you needed 250+ Directors and about 130 VPs to run one business unit. Also, I can't help but speculate that I don't think any of the upper management echelons could possibly get to where they are in the company the way it stands now. Oh well. To all those affected: believe in yourself. -JustAnotherNumber-
    • Comment 1/22/09: I disagree with FACE REALITY's statement. Management's role should be to maximize profits, but it needs to consider future consequences of today's action to really bring stockholder value. Think of it like this...every time they lay people off and do the RAs, their reputation is hurt. Each person who is affected tells 4 - 20 other people. Eventually their "brand" that they're trying to float will only last as long as the quality lasts.

      I 've worked w/ Brazilians and Indians from IBM and others for years, and I will tell you this. ... the QUALITY that they are charging for is going to go in the toilet as they drop US & Canadian employees. The folks I've worked with can't think for themselves, they can only follow instructions. Sure, there's some here and there, but the majority of the people they hire are horrible compared to an equitable US employee. Once the quality/price ratio is clear, the customers will jump ship and then IGS will go bust. The best thing IBM could do is cut 7 layers of management, but they don't have the balls to do that. LEAN should be about cutting the fat, not the muscle that gets the job done. -Jimmy-

    • Comment 1/22/09: WebSphere Education team hit hard. RAs started going out today, continuing through today. -Anonymous-
    • Comment 1/22/09: I'm confused. Microsoft just announced layoffs of 5000 over the next 18 months and I have seen NOTHING about the layoffs now occuring at IBM in the press or company filings. Does anyone know what the threshold for reporting to the SEC is for this? The information in the forum is very informative but in a vacuum..its needs to be heard more broadly -confused-
    • Comment 1/22/09: I Was RA'ed in 2007. Thank God I will RA'ed then than now. I just want to let all of you who are on the "list" today, there is a better life after IBM. After working 14 years at IBM and then RA'ed while some very dumb asses kept their jobs - IBM will be the last place I want to work again. Consider RA'ed by IBM as a blessing! Good Luck to all of you. I can assure you that you'll have a better job soon and higher quality of life! -Good Will-
    • Comment 1/22/09: My team was just RA'ed from 8 people to 3. Yes, that's 5 people layed off, not because my team doesn't have work to do. It was because we just restructured in 4q08, and through luck of the draw, this team picked up 4 people who were just axed, and reduced one person who has been around for years. I didn't get the ax, but Iwould love to just quit. -Overworked in SWG - Roch-
    • Comment 1/22/09: 2 hit in Rochester, but we are in SWG, so it would seem this goes along with all the action in RTP. Rumors abound about more layoffs. STG, here in Rochester, does not seem to be affected yet (at least people I know). -Anonymous-
    • Comment 1/22/09: Tivoli's Info Development group lost 8 great writers...allegedly some of the jobs are going to Ireland. I will miss some of my colleagues for sure, but not the values or culture. Never have I felt so undervalued in a job as I had there in the last 2 yrs (when we were acquired). The bullying and backstabbing was worse than at 6th grade recess. I feel sorry for some of those who were let go, but probably even sorrier for those who were 'spared.' -free at last-
    • Comment 1/22/09: At least Steve Balmer <link>of MSFT had guts to admit layoffs. -LeftAtMyOwnWill-
    • Comment 1/22/09: In reply to Good-Will -- I too was RA'd in 2007 and found a better job. The company I am now with respects its people. They had two parties last year, a summer picnic and a big Christmas party, all on the company. Things may look bad now, but keep your chin up and don't hold any grudges, they will come through in any interview. The grass is greener on the other side of THIS fence. It may be difficult in the short term, but you will be better off in the long run. Best of luck to all of you, believe it or not, you are really the lucky ones. -Gone-2007
    • Comment 1/22/09: In addition to this week's RAs, lots of contractors were quietly let go at year's end in SWG. Several in my small group alone. Most of us had tried to get on F-T over several years of working at IBM, to no avail....head count issues. -Taking-it-in-stride-
    • Comment 1/22/09: Anyone here anything about cuts on RTP campus in Global Services? -IBM'er RTP-
    • Comment 1/22/09: I was just notified my last day would be February 23rd. I have 29 years and 9 months with IBM. I am in S&D ibm.com. -Almost ex-ibmer-
    • Comment 1/22/09: RA's June 07 here. I saw it mentioned and man it is true. At IBM you are at the mercy of your manager and if for some reason, you are low on their list for whatever reasons weather they just do not know you, etc which is what happened to me, I never had a face to face meeting with my manager in three years until I got the axe. I know other managers I worked for would have done anything to keep me. So it is the luck of the draw, but if you feel your being marginalized due to distance or just the nature of your relationship with your manager, well you are, and you will be gone within a year. IT IS A SUCKY WAY TO LIVE.. Worrying that some KISS ASS DICKHEAD will not take a shine to you. Not a great way to live at all. GET OUT WHILE YOU CAN!!!!!!! -Paulie-
    • Comment 1/22/09: Don't forget to use all your personal choice holidays. You will get paid for unused vacation days but not personal choice days. -Neal Watkins-
    • Comment 1/22/09: to -herenow- advising recently layed off that they could find another job in one month at IBM. that is bull. there are no jobs in US/Canada out there and no one is permitted to switch divisions - check the job bank, silly, and ibm.com jobs (which is now this global application that looks really amateurish. Is the "no switch division rule" a form of discrimination, I wonder? -Justly Anxious-
    • Comment 1/22/09: Everyone that posts on this board knew this was coming, yet you still act surprised. Most of you refused to join the union, or talk about it to your pals when you knew something was afoot. In my eyes, you are just as much to blame for this as the IBM Management. Just think, if you had talked about this with your co-workers, you might have saved your job or theirs. You didn't have anything to lose either. -I Don't Get It-
    • Comment 1/22/09: Got 52 weeks for 30+ years in Canada. Some got 75 weeks -- go figure. -Markham-
    • Comment 1/22/09: Just got my package today, and I count 1,549 layoffs in S&D. I can not speak for the other divisions, but that is what I count in my package, which, by the way, was printed simplex in order to use as much paper and postage as possible. Onward and upward! -Me Again-
    • Comment 1/22/09: What happened to this site this morning? -reading every word... waiting- Alliance Reply: Very heavy traffic...6.3 million hits within 12 hours.
    • Comment 1/22/09: I agree with another poster that most employees don't know this web site exists. I have also heard from very good sources that the RA of this week is just the beginning and that other divisions of IBM will continue throughout the first quarter and some into June of 2009. I believe one of the reasons it doesn't get national publicity is that IBM is so large and there are so many different groups, divisions, organizations, etc. that it is hard to pinpoint the who/what/where. In reading many of the posts I have no idea what the majority of the acronyms stand for, so it's hard to relate it to my area/job. Regardless, I haven 't been RA'd yet, but my group is doing it later, so I feel for everyone who has been hit.

      As far as a severance package, the Corporation will pay no more than 26 weeks no matter how many years you have, and each business area can pretty much set their own criteria as long as they don't exceed 26 weeks. Most also include COBRA medical for a year. There is also a one year bridge to retirement if you are close and get RA'd.. All of this can be found on W3 if you dig deeply (and I do mean deep) enough. When everyone talks about being fair, etc., remember all we are to IBM is a serial number - it's not about Respect for the Individual and hasn't been since Gerstner took the helm. Good luck to everyone and I know from others, there definatey is life after IBM with companies who value your contribution. -OldTimer-

    • Comment 1/22/09: ANONYMOUS Please! Got my notice this morning, along with an excellent review. 21 years in sales with 1 and 2 ratings. No disclosure as to the total number in S&D or IBM Corporation. How ironic to read Sam's encouraging message in the NYT on 1/21. Hypocrite! Who wants to work here anyway?! -Anonymous-
    • Comment 1/22/09: SWG Demo Delivery & Support lost at least 21, most, but not all, very senior people. -Anonymous-
    • Comment 1/22/09: Got the package today--2 weeks of severance and 30 days to find a job that doesn't exist. Sales and Distribution.com. great way to start the new year! -Anonymous.com-
    • Comment 1/22/09: Spent 10+ years with a company and then got acuired by IBM. Now I am RAd. Does the package include years with the previous company? -IrishBulldog-
    • Comment 1/22/09: Alliance website is being filtered at the IBM site in Research Triangle Park, NC -Surfer-
    • Comment 1/22/09: I worked for IBM for one year on a contract and I would never go back. The horror stories I heard from IBM'ers made me start looking for another job asap. I left even though they extended my contract. -IBM Sux-
    • Comment 1/22/09: My division is supposed to be told next week. I reach 30 years this summer. To those that were close to retirement do they give you a bridge to your retirement date? -anonymous-
    • Comment 1/22/09: Thanks for those trying to explain to me how the list of layoffs was determined. Two things anger me: My first-line manager told me to my face that they valued my skills and thought they were valuable to the dept and that they "fought for me". The second is that there are a couple of people who have been there less than a year, have a lighter workload than me, and are junior to me in age and probably band as well, but they were not cut. I feel betrayed. I wish I could believe it was some exercise done remotely by some third-line management team, that way I could pretend my first-line actually gave a s--t about me and "fought for me". I would still like to have a job, but I don't think IBM is anything special anymore. In fact, it probably stopped being special long before I joined out of college 10 years ago. Here 's hoping something better comes down the line. To my fellow RTP RAs and all RAs in general - keep your head up and stay positive. -quelle_suprise-
    • Comment 1/22/09: Anyone here anything about cuts on RTP campus in Global Services? -IBM'er RTP-
    • Comment 1/22/09: Im surprised no one has made mention of the fact that Sam's internal earnings announcement and his webcast both note- and significantly I might add- the fact that we will 'not only pay bonuss for 2008 but the pool will be as big as 2007'. Furthermore, we will continue with our pay raise program... I am FLABBERGASTED at the fact that Sam put such an emphasis on all this 'goodness' for employees when AT THE SAME TIME we are in the midst of a VERY large layoff. If you are as angry as me about this, speak up....maybe I'm the only one that sees this? -befuddled-
    • Comment 1/22/09: I was RA'd back in 2005 and the 30 days to find another job within the company is a joke. All those listed to be laidoff will never be hired within another department because IBM wants you out. -Webwench-
    • Comment 1/22/09: Has anyone heard anything about ITS? I have a call tomorrow with my manager. -paige-
    • Comment 1/22/09: www.allianceibm.org web site access has been blocked within IBM intranet. -anonymous-
    • Comment 1/22/09: I'm tracking layoffs at IBM this week. The company is refusing to release numbers, so I am trying to take a roll call of everyone cut. This is the only way– - although slow and cumbersome –- I can think of to tally up any sort of accurate number. I will not print or release names in any way, unless the people are interested in going public. They can respond by e-mail, Twitter or phone. Ideally, I would like names so I can check databases to confirm the person was an IBMer. Please add which location and which unit you worked for. I am most interested in Rochester, Minn. workers. Thanks. Jeff Kiger, Business editor, columnist and blogger. Post-Bulletin, Rochester, Minn. 507-285-7798 Blog - Kiger's Notebook at www. postbulletin.com jkiger@postbulletin.com Twitter ID - Whereskiger
    • Comment 1/22/09: Someone mentioned that it is important to be known by your manager. This is an important insight because remote employees may never actually meet the boss. Over a four year period I had managers in the four corners of the United States. IBM's apparent new requirement for people to quit working at home and resume commuting to the office could be a good thing in this respect. The manager would be there interacting with you every day, so that you become more of a human being and less of a mere set of statistics on a spreadsheet. -Kabukimono-
    • Comment 1/22/09: TO -quelle_suprise-: Don't ever believe your manager when they say they fought for you. What it comes down to is either your salary is higher than the rest or you are not their favorite. I've heard they fought for you way too many times. I know managers that have saved people for years now. Believe me they are not fighting for you unless your nose is extremely brown. -anonomous-
    • Comment 1/22/09: SJP sends out a memo to employees recognizing superior execution of 400,000 employees. The very next day began a giant layoff that they are trying to hush up. Don't let this be a secret....even Microsoft could announce a layoff of 5,000! And this is giant layoff....did you hear me giant! And for those of you that are left., 60% of you will get a raise, the other 40% will get NOTHING. When you don't get a raise and the cost of living is increasing you actually lose money for all of your hard work and efforts. -Repulsed-
    • Comment 1/22/09: With S&D group in So. Cal, RA'd today after 20+ years. This after my team met and exceeded targets for 2008. No rhyme or reason to this. We have lost our way as a company. -saddened-
    • Comment 1/22/09: From what I understand, IGS is doing a few layoffs, but nothing massive like the other divisions at this time. They are in the process of ridding themselves of technical positions by another sinister means....moving the jobs to Boulder, Fishkill and Iowa. Employees are told they have a job waiting for them. Please show up on Monday in (boulder, fishkill or Iowa - depending on where your job is moving). If you don't take the job, consider yourself to have resigned. Also, IGS is going to be hit hard in June. That's the divisional plan as the outsourcing to India and other countries continues. If you think you're safe, think again. -dun-4-
    • Comment 1/22/09: to TOUGH CROSS TO BEAR.. In the same boat as you... Were you specifically told if you didn't move there would be no severance? Who can sell their house in this market, and move with NO relocation assistance in 6 weeks? That's insane. - anonymous-
    • Comment 1/22/09: allianceibm.org is no longer available from within POK. reading the site via proxy. good luck to everyone! -anon@POK-
    • Comment 1/22/09: I'm a developer in SWG RTP. Would the Alliance possibly provide numbers of how many they know that have been impacted. I'm guessing that some brave individuals have been forwarding packet information. At this point, I feel Management is blowing smoke up our __s. Thanks for keeping the site going. It's blocked from RTP btw. RTP-GUY -RTP-SWG-
    • Comment 1/22/09: allianceibm.org is no longer available from within POK. reading the site via proxy. good luck to everyone! -anon@POK-
    • Comment 1/22/09: I was RA'ed 11/2008..for all those talking about Cobra health benefits, please realize IBM is paying THEIR portion only. You must pick up the difference as you did earlier in your paycheck. I was in SWG, 8 years, 6 100% clubs, but expressed opinion to 3rd line manager not taken well. Currently enjoying less stressful sales position with another company. ood luck to all! -RickG
    • Comment 1/22/09: I was informed yesterday that I would be laid off on Feb 23rd. I work in US S&D and was given a list of job titles and ages og those in US S&D who were being laid off. It totalled to about 12,800 people! This is a huge layoff. Over 70 VPs are being let go. -anonomous-
    • Comment 1/22/09: I find it odd that IBM can get away with terminating thousands of employees without having it it reported in the media, or a total number released of the workers involved. Why, if other large companies can be upfront about what is happening, must IBM fly under the radar with their job cuts? -SickOfItAll-
    • Comment 1/22/09: Wow, layoffs in East Fishkill! What a surprise! I got fired in August for telling IBM to go screw themselves basically, I got out just in time, haha. Closed out my 401k plans and everything. I am the smart one here! Yes, I was prepared because IBM never gave a darn raise so I never lived beyond my means even with 3 children, so I make the same money out of work now as I did when I worked for lousy big blue. I know! I also hear they going to can all you folks when your work week is over too. At least tell em off and go down the right way and not their way. You'll still get unemployment for tellin em off so do it! Too many wimps at IBM that just went along with the lousy system they have. I am glad I'm out because I have a fresh start on life here. The poughkeepsie journal is also in kahoots with IBM, STOP putting out false info to the public! NY stste dumped money into IBM to save jobs huh? What a crock! -Canned just in time!-
    • Comment 1/22/09: To the person who asked about bridge to retirement - I believe that is a one year pre-retirement LOA. I'm not sure if you are eligible if it's not taken at exactly one year prior to eligibility. HR should be able to explain such a simple matter but it might be negotiable, never assume it's not. If you don't get to your full retirement eligiblity, you lose a portion, unless you qualify by age criterion of 55 in the USA. For me it's some 6K a year lost if I don't make it to eligibility, but it's still enough pension money to keep me off foodstamps. For those of us with the old but now frozen pension. It's frozen yes but there is still the eligibility "kicker" which would give you a little more money. -3rd_generation guy
    • Comment 1/22/09: IBM just Proxied the alliance web site, so good luck accessing it. FYI, if anyone here is accessing this site from work and have to authenticate through the BSO, you're being tracked now. Please watch yourselves. It should be blocked permanently, but anyone who tries to access the site, your login credentials are being logged. -IGS-IBMr@RTP-
    • Comment 1/22/09: Argh. The waiting is killing me. Just get it over with already. -IBM'er in limbo (RTP)-
    • Comment 1/22/09: I just noticed all the work at home bookmarks I have on W3 no longer work. This includes the flexible office program and all "CIO transform" pages and everything having to do with mobility reimbursements. This along with the GDC announcements are writing on the wall. IBM appears to be getting rid of all US based work at home staff. As I was basically told, move to a GDC or your job will be offshored outside the US. I also got a tip the the $45K salaries for Dubuque, IA GDC are accurate; as the salary bands are being decreased for system admins at the GDCs to help compete with offshore salaries. I don't agree with this policy, especially when IBM plays the greenwashing PR game. But, if salaries are reduced and WAH expenses aren't paid anymore, it will cut IBM expenditures. Either way IBM execs will no doubt benefit. But as one person stated, maybe the GDC are somewhat good because they're trying to keep US workers....even if we can't work from home anymore and get pay cuts. -IBMer-
    • Comment 1/22/09: I was RA'd on Jan 21, Software Group - Toronto/Markham Lab - DB2, so add that to the Lab count as people here are saying a total of "50" allows for greator package? This is after 12+ years, mostly 2, some 2+ and a 1 PBC rating. I got the min of roughly 2 weeks per year, will be having it reviewed by a lawyer for potential top-up, even though yes still going to look internal.

      I was told by my 1st line: HR ran some equation based on years of service, generated initial list, and upper mgmt pruned/deliberated over the list, with input from 1st lines. Was also told I could apply for any internal position (though obv SWG wouldn't have any since this is a headcount cut). Is this not true, as some people have posted you cannot switch divisions??? Also I am confused as some people here have posted that they are counting the layoffs based on info from their package? What exactly does this mean, what should I be checking in my package for such details? Lastly, I never knew this site existed nor the Alliance until today, wow :( Thx for all the info, Good luck to us all! -AnotherOneBitesTheDust-

    • Comment 1/22/09: This is not a "layoff", but it is a Resource Action. The action involves moving work to other IBM locations, like Poland, India, China, etc, where they can hire 4 - 6 people for every 1 in the US. IBM's been moving work to these countries at an accelerated rate, particularly in the Software Group. At the end of the day, IBM will be able to say they "increased" employment, but it will be at the expense of US workers. -notfooled-
    • Comment 1/22/09: IBM needs to stop sweeping layoffs under the rug. Sam needs to be a man and post the exact amount of people layed off (RA'ed) from every site period. Every other corporation comes out with numbers. IBM must be too good for that. -Anonymous-
    • Comment 1/22/09: This is to reply to the person who gave link below. If you read carefully there is exception about %10 . So if the numbers add up more then 50 but less than %10 it is not considered as mass. Read again... http://www.labour.gov.on.ca/english/es/guide/guide_15.html#mass Exception to the Mass-Termination Rules The mass-termination rules do not apply if: 1. The number of employees whose employment is being terminated represents not more than 10 per cent of the employees who have been employed for at least three months at the establishment, and 2. None of the terminations are caused by the permanent discontinuance of all or part of the employer's business at the establishment.-O.Verseer-
    • Comment 1/22/09: Why is it when IBM layed off in 1993 most did not change their life styles and new hires never had to change because they thought they were OK.. It was the old Ibmers.. I paid off my mortgage, and retired in 2004 at age 53.. You are are fools because you thought your were the best and now you will be surplussed out and not able to retire.. Vested rights is only 1/10 of your retirement and no benefits.. Good luck on Tuesday you fools who did not plan ahead or unionized.. -b-
    • Comment 1/22/09: Was just watching CNN and saw report of Microsoft's announcement to cut 5,000 jobs this year. They got bad press about it (showed Bill Gates' asking for more foreign workers a year ago because there weren't enough engineers in the US).... nothing, absolutely not a peep about IBM... -more press needed-
    • Comment 1/22/09: Just watched the video presentation of our CEO explaining how IBM made money at a record pace. It's a sin to see them now laying off and putting people that have spent many years of their career at IBM on the street. Tough finding new jobs in this economy. Shame on IBM. -Anonymous-
    • Comment 1/22/09: Neal Watkins: Shortly after Thanksgiving I announced I was taking my 2009 PC holidays in January, knowing I'd never get paid for them if RA'd. Now, I'm looking like a genius. My idiot manager has been in a daze for two months. Today she pumps our <vendor> admin for 'rumors' from the team. What is the saying... you're not paranoid if they ARE out to get you. Still employed, but I'm... -Waiting for the axe to fall in Rochester STG-
    • Comment 1/22/09: For all those that got RA'ed: Pin your manager down and ask that your Growth Driven Pay (GDP) check, if you are a PBC "2" or higher for 2008, in March be mailed to you at home. You all worked towards IBM's record 2008 profits so you are entitled to the GDP!!! If you manager says that your severance pay compensates for the GDP tell him/her to shove it and then make a stink with IBM HR and spam them before your 30 days are up about it. :cc Sam as well even though he probably will dismiss it from his Armonk ivory tower.. Get all that is due to you from IBM. They have sucked you dry now and have taken your job away unfairly. -sby_willie-
    • Comment 1/22/09: Tonight there was a segment run by Lou Dobbs on CNN about Microsoft layoffs in which he challenged Bill Gates for laying off american workers despite Bill's complaint of not finding enough developers in the US. Write to Lou Dobbs and report the IBM layoffs. Link provided to send messages to Lou: http://www.cnn.com/feedback/forms/form5.html?9 -ireporter-
    • Comment 1/22/09: Has anyone heard if the Global Administrative Assistants will be RA'd? Very concerned. We may be low on the totem pole but we are IBMers, too. -Curious Admin-
    • Comment 1/22/09: How many job cuts in ITS, business unit GTS? -Anonymous-
    • Comment 1/22/09: IBM is firing at SWG dallas area.. -John Smith-
    • Comment 1/22/09: Reporter seeks info on Rochester IBM layoffs... If you're employed with IBM in Rochester, MN and are willing to talk and go on camera to talk about layoffs at IBM please contact me - it wouldn't take long....thanks 507-440-253 -Donny Rowles-
    • Comment 1/22/09: Lou Gerstner's name keeps mentioning here. What's worth mentioning that Lou is still shown on IBM Bluepages? It says he has an office at IBM Management Center in Armonk. To train IBM managers??? To tell Sam what to do??? Whatever he is still with IBM. -WHO IS WHO IN ARMONK-
    • Comment 1/22/09: The number of folks that got axed - including me - in U.S. Sales & Distribution wsa 1,449. There's a rather lengthy table at the end of the package that indicates the number of selected employees by title and age. I'm sure it's for EEOC reporting purposes. I don't know how many employees in STG, GBS or other division were affected. -Hard Luck in S&D-
    • Comment 1/22/09: It was a bloodbath Wednesday at the ibm.com centre in Smyrna, GA. An entire SWG business unit including a BUE, 4 FLMs and about 40 reps were RA'd. Heard the SWG VP for the centre was RA'd too, but cannot confirm that. The centre houses about 600 S&D employees, every area was hit and word is that over 30% of the workforce in the building was RA'd. -Georgia Peach-
    • Comment 1/22/09: I am selected for RA. I work in RTP Tivoli components group. One more person in my team has been affected but I have no idea who she/he is. It bothers me that everyone is so secretive, that no one is acknowledging the loss of good employees and the affect it has on their families. Furthermore, if we do not know who is affected, how can we help each other with information sharing? Someone has counted the number of SWG people to be let go, 1400+. That is way over 500 required for WARN act. How do we verify that IBM will let go more than 500 RTP people so that we get WARN, 60 days pay and not only 30 days pay to “find a new job” internally. -Andromeda-
    • Comment 1/22/09: Allianceibm.org is also no longer available from within Fishkill NY reading the site via proxy. Management is really trying to keep a lid on this one! -Clueless in Fishkill-
    • Comment 1/22/09: is anyone seeing there ratings being decreased from 2+ to a 2...Is this a company direction -screwed-
    • Comment 1/22/09: Malaysia, none that I know of yet. -KH Tan-
    • Comment 1/22/09: To answer some of What_next's questions: (1) Looking for another IBM job. I'll work as a greeter in Walmart before working in that IBM shithole again. (2) Separation pay is 1 week of base salary for each 6 months of service. (3) No mention of IBM 's 401K contribution for the severance period. I think it continues. Separation pay is not eligible under the IBM Savings Plan. (8) Family taking this setback? Been preparing for this for a while. Kids grown up. Wife glad I 'm finally out of that 'god damn place' as she calls it. (10) Yes, feel good about finally getting enough time off to clear my head of that IBM crap. I expect to enjoy life more now and in the future. (13) Not sure yet what to do about the personal pension $$$. Anyone have any advice on this? -I'mSoGlad-
    • Comment 1/22/09: I'm one of the eBusiness System Administrators given the "opportunity" to move to Boulder. I heard a few new things today:
      1. Managers (at least some) are being asked to move as well. Not a surprise, but the first I've heard about it.
      2. All of the regs in my group I've talked to have said there is no way they are moving. Again, not a surprise, but just how do they think they can service these complex accounts with 75% plus new staff? I asked management this. I was told the concern would be taken forward to higher management (he had no clue either).
      3. No relo for almost everyone. It appears requests are being put in for a select few... No telling if upper management will grant the requests, but it's interesting... I guess they think they will need at least a few to help rebuild the group yet again (round 1 of LEAN was rough - 50% or so fired and then another 20% plus quit).
      4. Salary and band will stay the same initially. However, no promises of what will happen after you get there. The writing on the wall is pay your way over to Boulder (most in this group are on the east coast some where) and then take a big pay and band cut? Come on....
      5. Oh, yeah, for this wonderful opportunity, they want a one year commitment.
      6. For those that don't go (as mentioned below), you are expected to stay for the transition to train your replacement. Rumor has it that this transition would last until sometime around May. I've been fed up with IBM for a while, but I've been trying to hang out. I like working from home. 2010 at least would have been my 10 years of service. That would bump me up to 4 weeks of vaca. That would be nice... Even if IBM was willing to cough up relo money, cost of living is higher in Boulder. I'd need about a 20-25% raise just to break even. I just don't see it happening.... Well, back to debating what to do next... -possibly about to be former ebus SA-
      7. Comment 1/22/09: Too many of you think that PBC rating has the slightest to do with being RA'd. That is clearly not the case. Give up thinking ibm really cares about that. Give up thinking that the basic beliefs mean anything except PR to sammy. How can you prove they are what they say? I bet you can't. Sam knows this. Don' t for one second think that sam cares about anything except himself and the rep for getting big numbers. Give up thinking that if you don't lose you job you might be one of the 60% that gets a raise. I was told it's like a one in 6 chance. How can anyone prove the 60% is real? Sam knows you can't.

        Notice how the pot of money for variable pay or bonues always is smaller from year to year and no none effectively call in on it. Sam knows that you can't do anything about it. Notice how sammy is really and truly in a world of his own. About the only constant in this is to think and do about the opposite of what sammmy says. Give up thinking there is any logic other than that. Give up on the idea that there will exist any US based force in the future other than sammy and his immediate staff. Give up thinking that working at ibm means anything than you are meat on a hook. Don't give up thinking that a union will get sammies attention. That is the only way to change things. -bob o-

      8. Comment 1/22/09: For those RA'd over 40 years of age I strongly suggest you file an EEOC age discrimination report. Even if you sign the consent form and get a serverance you can do this and not violate that agreement. The reason I am suggesting this is that if you ever become a part of a class or group action later you will timely documentation that you felt that your were discriminated against. This could result in significant settlement dollars since the average age discrimination settlement out of court is $62k and if it goes to trial and you win its $252k. -eboy-
      9. Comment 1/22/09: Tomorrow is the day for BTV cuts to begin. This site is going downhill fast. BTV is the biggest money loser for IBM. OEM bussiness was down 40% in 4Q. Please write to Obama and complain. God Speed Barack Obama.--
      10. Comment 1/22/09: In one of the software groups, at least 7 information developers were cut. Jobs are being moved to Ireland or 'will no longer exist.' -anonymous-
      11. Comment 1/22/09: The ebusiness system administrators jobs are in Boulder..don't go you have effectively resigned from the company. Same for those in Iowa. No severence no nothing. For everyone look at w3 nothing is hidden on what packages are. MIS -Management initiated separation; warning will robinson; manager hands u this on you either take the 1 week for every year or you get nothing when they walk u out the door. Other RAs vary by division; ours was 1 week for every six FULL WORKED MONTHS up to 26 weeks. You can bridge ONLY if the last day you are employeed you are within the 1 year of your start date. So effectively if you got hired May 1980 and got RA'd with end date of Feb 23rd you are not able to bridge. Look at your about you pages; if you were outsource buy in you may have vacation time but not retirement etc. Look at your last date of hire. Don't flippin be surprised ...be informed; the stuff is out there to read. PS dont be stupid using IBM resources to read this site. Business Conduct Guidelines are clear that use of IBM property for other than IBM work is grounds for dismissal...buy a computer go to the ibrary...whatever. -queenofthedamned-
      12. Comment 1/22/09: funny how IBM is doing this secretly. no announcement. seems more like a secret mafia activity rather than something a reputable company would do. -ibmThePrison-
      13. Comment 1/22/09: I am safe so far, but I would love to see someone who is one their way out send the alliance home page info to all IBM'ers. I was specifically asked today what work I do that could not be done by someone in an international GDC. -canuck-
      14. Comment 1/22/09: Re: Do they tell about RA during PBC review?. Can someone tell me?. My PBC review fell (was already booked) during the SWG RA yesterday, so I was told, first, that I was safe, and next, my review.... -Anonymous-
      15. Comment 1/22/09: I am in panic now... I got a job offer from IBM SWG in Jan.2008. But the start date for the offer is Aug. 2009. Does any one knows whether job offers like mine could be easily revoked under IBM's workforce restructuring? -Jackie-
      16. Comment 1/22/09: Ironic how IBM reports record earnings while IBMer's get laid off the next day. I was officially given my pink slip from the IBM hardware sales team on weds jan 21. I knew something was wrong when I got a calandar invite from my manager the night before. I do not think I have it as bad as some of my co-workers who have kids, a wife, and a mortgage. What happens to them? -IveBeenMislead-
      17. Comment 1/22/09: Well..IBM HR reserved the large conference rooms off the Cafe for Tuesday in POK and EF. Any other sites? -Tired_of_the_BS-
      18. Comment 1/22/09: I often wonder about these rolling RA's that IBM does. They fire 5%-10% of the employees, and then over the next year wind up hiring back younger cheaper workers and more it seems. But does it really save anything? They throw away the severance costs. They throw away the skill and knowledge of these workers. Maybe more, cheaper workers eventually make up the difference but what about the 90% that are not fired? Their productivity and morale is decimated during the 2-3 month buildup to the RA. After the RA many leave on their own accord because they started looking for new jobs when they heard the axe was going to fall. So do these RA's really save anything that flows to the bottom line or to the bean counters just pretend that it does? -Not_Fired_Yet-
      19. Comment 1/22/09: On challenging your appraisal rating. I succeeded twice. Once upping from 3 to 2 and once from 2 to 1. -Scaly Salamander-
      20. Comment 1/23/09: I know at 4 people from Rational who have been laid off. About the 10% - i am sure it's is close to 10% - at least in the Markham Lab - it could be more if we consider entire ON. Is there a date, we should put it into action from legal perspective. One of the reasons, IBM is laying off people at different times in the SWG Markham could be because of the time constraint. Anyone keeping the count - Rational 4 -SWG compiler-
      21. Comment 1/23/09: Rumor has it Building 334 in East Fishkill is going to get hit hard...they've already started moving some of the C-4 Plating people to other areas..this is confirmed. Screening area in Building 330D has already received some people on night shifts. Managers are telling us we're safe. Managers are keeping Hush Hush about things,"at-home" workers are back in offices and the cafeteria has shortened it's menu.... cafeteria workers tell us IBM told them to do so. Also hearing some people from other facilities are coming down to Fishkill...probably to keep the head count up in order to keep getting their tax breaks from NY state. Also NY Times won't touch the story. Some IBM execs. or retired execs. are on the NY Times board of directors, I think. remember to check these local NY news sites for updates in: www.recordonline.com and www.pojonews.com -East Fishkill news-
      22. Comment 1/23/09: The package prepared by HR is just crappy work. The information is incomplete as to what are the processes you have togo through, and what are your rights. How many HR people got RA'ed I wonder. Maybe its full time employment for them now. How can a company survive when the real work force islayed out and HR thrives on the carnage. -Anonymous-
      23. Comment 1/23/09: Several hundred were RA'ed in STG in December. See comments in Right consulting thread. Actions have been going on quarterly for past 2 years with jobs being reallocated overseas. -IBM Alumni-
      24. Comment 1/23/09: Wow: look at all the activity now on this section! Wonder how many of these folks are at least Alliance associate members? I bet just a fraction. If we had more IBMers in the Alliance we could have had a chance to possibly negotiate to save USA based IBM jobs. But since IBM management doesn't take non-union employees that seriously, this latest RA after a record 2008 earnings year has happened and can continue to happen. By the way, I am a dues paying member since 1999. -sby_willie-

        Alliance Reply: Based on the number of visitors we had just this month (over 160,000) if ten percent (10%) signed up, as members, we could do some SERIOUS work toward bringing IBM to the bargaining table. It's amazing that some of these IBM USA visitors are here for the first time, and never heard of Alliance@IBM before.... Yet, we have visitors from China (see below) Why is that? How the hell did the Chinese hear about Alliance and not the IBMers in the US?

      25. Comment 1/23/09: I doubt NY Times would publish anything with a negative tone about IBM. If they did IBM would pull all advertising from the paper. With the economy being in the dumper and headed for a depression, all companies are trying to keep as much revenue as they can hold on to and the NY Times newspaper is no exception.. -anonymous-
      26. Comment 1/23/09: IBM is too arrogant and smug to come clean with the exact number of layoffs and where the layoffs are. One reason is they made some promises to certain USA states for incentives, tax rate cuts and corporate welfare $ handouts to keep IBM jobs in their states. Example are in New York (mainly East Fishkill, Poughkeepsie, Albany)and Oklahoma (Tulsa specfically). IBM are masters of obsfucation. And Sam coming clean about this? Come on! The man couldn't come clean: he is in Da Nile about all this. -layoffnumbers-
      27. Comment 1/23/09: To: "Argh. The waiting is killing me. Just get it over with already" If IBM can squeeze out some of your hard work for just another minute they will do it. IBM wants you to twist in the wind. They use this job fear as a motivational factor. What do you think IBM HR is for? -anonymous-
      28. Comment 1/23/09: I've learned through the years and having been part of these before and having dodged alot of them, that one should go into every meeting with your manager with the expectation that you will be layed off. That a sad statement on the state of affairs, but that's reality. There is no safety anywhere or with having any level of credentials. To the person inquiring about the packet. The packet is a big heavily stuffed manilla envelope with some documents describing the severence, who to call to claim education benefits, etc. It also discloses in a big ream of paper all those who were layed off by job family, division, and age. No names listed. So by counting the list, one can determine total numbers. -anonymous-
      29. Comment 1/23/09: Don't forget, for those who were forced from Exempt to non-exempt and took a 15% pay cut your severance will be based on 15% less base. So again IBM Screwed us. -Anonymous-
      30. Comment 1/23/09: 40 accountants in Tulsa were recently given the option to move to contract status or leave. -Anonymous-
      31. Comment 1/23/09: NPR is tracking this. Post your comments and information here: http://www.npr.org/blogs/money/2009/01/ibm_chief_pay_hikes_bonuses_ah_1.html -Johnny Reb-
      32. Comment 1/23/09: Hey Alliance; With all these layoffs over the last few years, does anyone have any idea how many USA based employees there are left in the mix of things? You would think that the goal for the number of employees needed will continue to become less and less. Secondly, what do you know about the Employees Free Choice ACT being petitioned now? http://www.freechoiceact.org/petition/ How will this affect the Alliance? Thanks in Advance. -Lowered-Expectations-
      33. Comment 1/23/09: I haven't heard of any layoffs from the Cognos SWG division. Obviously HR and related things will be moved around, but that's to be expected when companies merge. I'd like to hear from any other Cognos worker who knows if any layoffs have been occuring. -anonymous-
      34. Comment 1/23/09: If anyone was wondering I saw the layoffs mentioned as a rumor on MSN Money on 1/21 but was quickly removed. Interesting. -unknown-
      35. Comment 1/23/09: What are the current federal laws regarding public notice of large resource actions? If IBM is in violation, can those who have the paperwork to prove it work together to notify the correct govt agencies? Part of the reason that the local Raleigh/RTP press has covered the actual layoffs is that those aware reached out themselves to reporters. Why don't we blitz CNN, ABC, and the rest of them with emails telling them to re-look at IBM and dig into this latest RA and make it public. -disgusted-
      36. Comment 1/23/09: I think that some of you that have been RA'd and still working should spread the word about the Union. Send an email with the URL and let them know about allianceibm.org. Probably should also let them know that it is blocked and they would need to view the site from home etc. My heart goes out to those who have lost their job's. Hope you all find something better! -Joe Shmoe-
      37. Comment 1/23/09: I guess I'm one of the lucky ones I work in IGS, currently work in POK, and will have to go to GDF in Fishkill, my commute to work is actually going to be shorter. As for people in my dept, there are people all over the country, I only know of one for sure that is not going to the GDF and leaving IBM -Bill-
      38. Comment 1/23/09: to formerMRO -- Yes, former MRO employees are being laid off. This includes people from development, documentation, QA, shipping (that I know of so far). This is only what I have first-hand knowledge of. Everyone, including people not laid off, is very depressed about it. IBM is gradually siphoning out our work to other parts of IBM, e.g. the Brazil office. And we only get 4 weeks severance because it's counted from the acquisition. -cynic-
      39. Comment 1/23/09: I was laid off on 1/21. I am an inside software sales rep in the Atlanta .com center. The entire software group inside sales team was eliminated--appox 40 people in the atlanta location but a total of around 300 in atlanta, dallas and canada. I was also told there were an additional 150 people laid off at the atlanta site. I also understand that the field sales team in software was hit hard as well but don't know specifics. -Anonymous-
      40. Comment 1/23/09: Eight people were laid off from Ottawa Palladium campus (SWG:Rational/Websphere/InfoMgmt, about 200 folks) on Jan 21, including me. Apparently some recent attritions reduced the layoffs. -TimeForAChangeAnyhow-
      41. Comment 1/23/09: To those that believe your PBC rating has anything to do with this RA, DON'T. This is a headcount issue where IBM want's out for numbers purposes. With all of the acquisitions, IBM's headcount swelled. It was mandated from up top to get down to numbers from years ago. There are 1s, 2s, and 3s and of all ages hit. -Anon-
      42. Comment 1/23/09: This cut is on top of the 331 positions eliminated last November. Seems that IBM is staying under the radar by reducing staff in incremental chunks. -Axed-before-christmas-
      43. Comment 1/23/09: To those being ra'ed-Be careful about applying for internal jobs. My manager told me that if you apply and are offered, it's not a matter of taking severence or the job. You have no options. If you get offered the job, you either take it or you get no severence. He also said, he would never enforce it, but that those were the rules. So don't apply for something on a whim..like a 100% travel..if you have doubts about actually taking it. -doug-
      44. Comment 1/23/09: IBM Canada giving up to 75 weeks for RA's going out the door. -Markham-
      45. Comment 1/23/09: Is it true that IBM has done away with the Central Region? Just an East and West Region. The real revenue numbers must have been really bad. -dgdecibm-
      46. Comment 1/23/09: I dont know how IBM can justify all the H1B / green card processing they are doing when the firings are taking place. While DOL does not yet have FY 2009 data, as per FY 2008 IBM has filed nearly 300 H1Bs and several green card applications including 100s for "software engineers" http://www.flcdatacenter.com/ -Current IBMer-
      47. Comment 1/23/09: to O. Overseer: 10% doesn't include people who are with the company for 3 months or less. But we are talking about mostly more than 5 years here... so i think mass law applies if there are more than 50, which I am definitely there are.. I know 4 from Rational. Please respond and if I get more than 50 pair of hands, I am willing to talk to the lawyer first myself. I am not trying to destroy IBM - after all, some of my very good friends still work there.. but I am trying to get what is right and just. -Toronto_lab-
      48. Comment 1/23/09: I begin training my GR replacement on Monday. My entire team has been told GR resources are taking their positions. THis is BS! AND the best part is we are not to tell our customers. We have been told the transition should be seamless. Absolutely ridiculous!!!!!!! -GBS PM-
      49. Comment 1/23/09: Maybe IBM isn't saying how many are laid off because there are more layoffs to come in other divisions (groups) which didn't get hit on this round. After those are layoffs announced, then IBM may come out with their final layoff totals. Or it could be IBM wants to keep things quiet as it tries to get some of the contracts/money from Obama's stimulus package. Saying it's laying off a lot of people isn't a good thing to say. -politics-
      50. Comment 1/23/09: Sysadmin here in RTP. Was offered to move to Boulder, CO in 5 weeks or else we are assumed to have quit. This all seems like an underhanded way of getting around firing us. I also think they're trying to avoid being liable for unemployment benefits. The best part is that they refuse to put ANYTHING in writing. They won't even reply to a sametime chat. They call you and dish the script they were given. If this process is on the up and up and Tom Watson would be proud of his management, why won't they put it in writing? Consider yourselves lucky those of you who got a real RA and are now getting a severance package. As a sysadmin, I get nothing for my 9 years of service with the company. -Sucks_to_be_an_SA-
      51. Comment 1/23/09: -ByeByeBlue- When is your last day of employment from IBM? Your unemployment begins your first day you are off IBM's payroll as an employee. As long as you don't resign, quit voluntarily, or found to have broken a law against IBM, you can collect unemployment benefits once your last day at IBM employment is over.. Severance is not considered time employed. Yes, you sign for your severance but this does not mean you are accepting being unemployed by IBM! Check with your local Dept. of Labor. But I would apply and collect unemployment immediately. After all, it is your right. -unemployed-
      52. Comment 1/23/09: I am part of the RA after 20 years at IBM. PBC = 2+. Consistent top performer. 60% of my area eliminated. I have not seen anyone mention this yet - but there is a Project Match mentioned in the packet. If anyone needs any further proof of outsourcing of jobs this is it. Basically - there are a number of jobs available in places such as Moscow, Dubai, India, China, South Africa, etc. Those that are affected by the RA are allowed to apply for these jobs. If a job is offered and accepted - the IBMer is no longer part of IBM U.S. and must accept the pay and benefits of the country where the IBMer would be moving. IBM will pay a one way ticket and partial moving expenses. If at any point you decide you want to move back to the U.S. - you are on your own. -Absolutely Disgusted-
      53. Comment 1/23/09: Riveredge in Atlanta, GA is laying people off this week and next. -Pissed-
      54. Comment 1/23/09: I believe the count is 10 in Lexington, Rational that is. How about all the new college hires that are making 5%-12% more coming in than some of the people that were or have been with IBM for a couple of years? IBM the new secret society for salary. -cnblue-
      55. Comment 1/23/09: IBM has been treating its employees rather poorly for quite some time. The word is getting out, and following these changes it will become very difficult for IBM to attract qualified workers once the economy improves in the US. The primary draw for someone to work at a large, established corporation like IBM was job stability, as well as the resources they gave to their employees and the ability to do a variety of jobs with one company. Those positive aspects have all but disappeared. There is really no compelling reason for anyone to choose to work for IBM over a smaller, privately help company, and the negative impression given by current and former employees will likely harm them for years to come. -1 2 X U-
      56. Comment 1/23/09: My work offer is starting from May, 2009. My manager just told me that I am still safe... But this really is scary! Life is so tough! -Future Empolyee-
      57. Comment 1/23/09: ANYONE RA'ed IN CALIFORNIA? PLEASE REPLY BACK!!! Is IBM violating California law by not reporting how many people got laid off in the state of california? Check out the Worker Adjustment & Retaining Notification Law at (http://www.edd.ca.gov/Jobs_and_Training/Layoff_Services_WARN.htm) IBM is supposed to give 60 days notice of their intention of the layoffs. I do not see them reporting their layoff to the state. I think getting a RA letter in the mail with 30 days left to work would be in violation of this law but if there someone that knows, please clarify. If not, I know a good attorney that focuses on employment law that could fight for the IBM'ers in California on contingency and make it a class action suit :) -ActionInCalifornia-
      58. Comment 1/23/09: I was at the Austin site this week. The worst I heard of was 1 SWG department that lost 1/3 of their people including contractors. Everyone I talked to seem to know at least one person that had been axed. Often people said they just could not figure out how names were chosen since it seemed so random. Regulars were being told 700 of them were being let go but not what locations that included. I had been told by some that they thought they were safe because IBM had put so much money into the buildings recently but the conditions I saw shocked me having been awhile since I had been back there.

        Stuff like badge readers stuck onto the original in wall readers. Many of those readers only appeared to work for regulars with proximity badges. Contractors get the old mag strip type and can be found cussing outside doors. Many of the vending doors had combo locks but did not even latch when closed. The carpet was soaked outside a bathroom I passed. When going to leave the elevator button fell on the floor when pushed which I should have taken as and omen. I rode down anyway only to have the doors not open and it take me back up.

        Granted none of these things was major but when I was last at the site in the 90s, at the old buildings across the street, the old buildings were in MUCH better shape than these relatively new ones. Almost all of those old buildings are gone now of course to make way for a mall. I think we can mark the Austin site as being on the way out. Rumors were flying that a good chunk will go in June. At the rate the mall is expanding that sounds about right to me. -Visiting Austin - SWG-

      59. Comment 1/23/09: Yes they tell you during the PBC review.. at least that's what was told to me and couple of others that I know of. Scaly Salamander: Did you go all the way through to the IBM open door or just to the second line to have your PBC rating changed? I want my changed to - but nonethless, I don't want to remain in IBM. -SWG - Toronto Lab-
      60. Comment 1/23/09: laid off from SWG - Austin, TX - be aware that if you came to IBM as part of an acquisition your severance pay is based on the day you started with IBM ... NOT the date you started with the acquired company. -java_monkey-
      61. Comment 1/23/09: To not Fired Yet. IBM is forcing people to resign by requiring they move in 6 weeks to another state, if they dont go, it is seen as a resignation. They are getting out of paying severance this way, just kicking them to the curb. Not everyone is getting severance. -anonymous-
      62. Comment 1/23/09: From a friend in IGS in RTP "He can either move to Boulder Colorado in the spring, or if he decides not to move, he will work with the transition to the new people and then he will lose his position and will not receive severance. If he takes the Boulder job, it will be at his own cost and IBM will only guarantee a one year contract and he will only be offered approx. 50% of his current salary." Can SOMEONE rezearch laws and come up with a class action lawsuit? Or at least light a bag of dog crap on Palmisano's door? -anonymous-
      63. Comment 1/23/09: It is obvious why IBM is doing 'stealth' laying offs. It's press relations 101. After reporting strong earnings, it is bad PR to admit you are still going to throw people out of work, especially given the sinister reason. They use these annual Christmas layoffs to dismiss 10-15% of US workers so they can be replaced with low wage global workers. And it sounds like IBM did major reorgs in multiple divisions just before the layoffs. That makes it easier to tell employees their jobs got reorged out of existence. I doubt there is even one loyal employee left. Good luck all. -Betrayed-
      64. Comment 1/23/09: Rumor that IBM may be shedding headcount in preparation to buy Satyam: http://tinyurl.com/cmu7zv -Barb-
      65. Comment 1/23/09: Hey all sorry to hear about cuts in the US and then we post big Q4 profits. Oh the irony!! Does anyone know if this will be affecting the UK? -IBMerUK-
      66. Comment 1/23/09: The thing about the Microsoft announcement is that it's 1400 headcount being let go now with the remaining 3600 being let go over the next 18 months... and that's making news.... but according to reports here in the past day or two, we've had more than 1500 in just one division and nobody in the media is paying attention! What the heck is going on, IBM is well known and used to be a well-respected company (probably still is for those that don't work in the technology sector). The fact that there's a resource action (not layoff) of this magnitude should be BIG NEWS!!!! -anonymous-
      67. Comment 1/23/09: Since coming on as a full-time employee in SWG a few years ago I have continually lost respect for IBM as a company.. and that's really sad. I'm a cynic by nature but I really drank the IBM kool-aid in the begining. Since then I have seen how attractive shiny assignments and ratings have more to do w/ who you know and who likes you than what you know, have done, or are capable of (and who likes you has more to do w/ how much they percieve you as a threat to the status quo than it does w/ your personality). More and more I feel like the cubicle jungle I work in is a rat maze w/ everyone fighting for the few pieces of cheese.

        I have not yet been fired or notified that I will be (let's call a RA what it is). Still neither I, nor anyone in my area, have been notified that we won't be either and I take serious issue w/ that. If you're going to do something just come right out and say it. Don't paint me a rosy '08/4th quarter results picture while building a firing squad list that includes my friends and coworkers.

        I understand the business cycle and the need to compete in a global marketplace, but I thought IBM had some humanity, but, instead of owning up to the layoffs they're making they're secretly and quietly letting go of thousands of employees. This is not the company I signed up to work for and I no longer see myself having a long term career here. I'm going to reduce my expenses and start looking into other companies or going back to school. Assuming I survive IBM's current black-op RA (which I feel pretty comfortable about doing), I will also be a member of alliance@ibm for the remander of my stay here. Best of luck to all those not as fortunate as I. My heart goes out to you and your families. -Scarface-

      68. Comment 1/23/09: I'm hearing that Lotus layoffs will happen after the Lotusphere 2009 conference -SWG Lotus-
      69. Comment 1/23/09: this site is actively blocked from fishkill site. had to sneak in through hidemypath.info -anon-
      70. Comment 1/24/09: How it works... PBCs and RAs... Well, you may think PBCs and RAs have nothing in common but here is how it works: The PBC process has been modified couple of years ago to include the so-called “relative-contribution” by design, i.e. employees are “ranked” (at a 2nd-line management level in some place, don’t know if it take place at the same level everywhere) well in advance of actual PBC discussion (ranking normally starts in Sept/Oct timeframe. Then HR give out its “distribution” numbers (something like 5% of 1s, 10 % 2+, 80% 2 and 5% 3s). At this point the game is done. So:
        1. The PBC discussion is completely useless; your rating as been assigned well in advance and well before your self-assessment;
        2. Your rating has NOTHING to do with your goal and execution or ability; you may have reached all your goal but because there are so few 2+ available (if HR decide so) you can easily fall in the 2’s category;
        3. The relative distribution list assure HR that when an RA is ready, and you want to cut, let’s say, 20% of your workforce in a specific division you have list of people to select from (of course if your entire division/dept is going to be cut this is no help, but this is not often the case);
        4. The same list allows HR (and finance) to decide the actual distribution at the latest possible moment: if results are bad and/or you want to change the distribution you have only to “upgrade” or “downgrade” people in a ready list.
        5. The % of cuts is decided at upper levels and that can make someone think that 1st and 2nd line managers have nothing to do with it. But please keep in mind that THEY decide how to build the relative contribution list, so your ranking is THEIR responsibility (not HR’s). So if your 1st line manager tells you that you’re fired and it is not his/her responsibility he/she is lying. I would like to add that this process has completely cut any link between your performance and rating: because of it, your rating is a mix of what your managers think of you, how good is your manager at “selling” you and how much influence your 1st line manager has on your 2nd line manager (meaning that if you report to a 1st line managers rated one you probably have better probabilities to have higher ranking). Regards -pbcs-
    • Comment 1/24/09: The biggest part of the IBM hoax is that they are telling the RA'ed employees and the public that they have 30 days to look for a job within IBM. One of my friends was RA'ed, and there no opportunity to find another job. All the divisions are either in a hiring freeze or are in the process of a Resource Action. It is a hoax folks, why doesn't anybody write about the big blue hoax. -stillhere-
    • Comment 1/24/09: SWG - Cognos has had RA's and will continue I suspect have RA's as we continue to move work around to india. As well, I have heard that IBM has signed a new lease at 62 Auriga drive for 5 years so I guess you can say bye-bye to Palladium drive. -Cognoside-
    • Comment 1/24/09: re: to those asking about Cognos SWG. There was a big round of layoffs in Sep 2006. Co-incidentally, it was right after a really good earnings announcement. Many older, long-term and highly-paid employees were fired. A certain COO (formerly an exec at IBM) was clearly brought in by the Cognos board of directors to groom the company for the acquisition. Not saying that Cognos won't be hit with this one - but maybe will escape due to the fact that the division had previously been subject to a 4-6% reduction. -anon-
    • Comment 1/24/09: You can challenge your PBC rating. There are two options available to you: Jury or Exec Investigation. In the Jury, there are 3 employees in the same band from different orgs and 2 managers from different orgs. Each side has their time privately with the group to plead their case. You need to get 3 of them on your side. The PBC appraisal change is not retroactive. This means you do not get the pay increase or GDP increase by having it changed. I have been told by my neighbor who was in HR at IBM that Exec investigations usually took 2-5 minutes. They simply increase the rating from a 4 to 3, 3 to 2. If they were looking for a 2 to 2+ or 2+ to 1, it was the same amount time, but rejected. -Wishful Employee-
    • Comment 1/24/09: I know some victims are still hoping to get a job within IBM. I would not count on this "30 days to find a job within IBM" BS. This is a way to keep people silent for 30 days. They hope the whole thing will be over and forgotten after 30 days. I'll definitely take the offer and leave this company for a better life. -ex-IBMer-
    • Comment 1/24/09: 1/27/2009 seems to be the consensus date for cuts in STG , ISC and others in Rochester. Get Ready! POK news link with more info >> http://www.poughkeepsiejournal.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2009901220332 -stger-
    • Comment 1/24/09: To "Rational 4 -SWG compiler": I gave my contact info to allianceibmunion@gmail.com. You might know me, but just don't know that I got RA'd. Pls email or call me. We can work together to get a true count of casualties at the Toronto Lab. I posted the link re:Mass Termination. BTW, thx to O.Verseer for pointing out the 10% exception. I mis-read that section. -GC---
    • Comment 1/24/09: Question on the GDC "offer". Would you have any recourse if you are under FMLA status that requires a work-at-home accomodation and you were to refuse the "offer" ? -Anon-
    • Comment 1/24/09: My understanding is if you're part of a resource action you are NOT eligible for a piece of the GDP bonus (in this case, the bonus would be for 2008 performance). But check with your manager/project office on that. (it also may state in in the package documentation) If you get a resource package, don't let your manager off the hook with providing you answers to any/all questions. Although, my experience is that most IBM managers are NOT trained well and depend on LOTS of HR/ESC support . The battle cry is: Call the ESC (Employee Services Center!) for questions on benefits, life insurance First level support from the ESC though is TERRIBLE. They recentlymoved their function to, I think, India. In addition to hardly understanding what they are saying, they are just reading from script (you may as well just go to w3 and search for the answer). They give as many wrong answers as right answers. -anon-
    • Comment 1/24/09: The legality of GDF (relocate or resign ) is questionable. We are well-trained engineers. It is time to use our brains and defeat those evil bastards behind GDF. We need to fight together . Barack Obama is in charge now. Tell your story at http://www.whitehouse.gov/contact/ and find media outlets with our smarts to tell your story. Justice will be served. -Anonymous-
    • Comment 1/24/09: Hello all, FYI I was called by FLM on 1/21 and told that I was one of the employees affected by the organizational RA. I am part of ibm.com in Dallas. Like others have cited we are allowed to take this month to secure another job internally yet formally there are not many posted and have already noticed that many FLM's do not have hiring tickets now. In same sales center, the whole inside SWG team has been obliterated including the mgrs. I have reviewed the severance package and so far it does look like this 'secretive massacre' has no rhyme or reason. Listing has gamut: were VP's, Dir.'s, new hires, Architects, field Client Execs, brand ecialists...youngings with less than 5 years experience to older and about to retire. Of course for those in same situation I would suggest keeping chin up-be confident that you will find and land something possibly even better externally. -Anonymous-
    • Comment 1/24/09: Have there been any job cuts in the GBS SAP Practice. I work from home and not sure if anyone from the SAP Practice was RA'd -anon-
    • Comment 1/24/09: I know of at least 18 let go from Rational Lexington. Mostly in QE and Performance. -LexingtonSurvivor-
    • Comment 1/24/09: Hello from Israel! I'm working in IBM STG through an outsourcing company. In the last month or so 10 people from our company got fired and now they announced that all my team (11 people) are going to get fired in the coming months :( -Alon-
    • Comment 1/24/09: I have luckily not been RAed but I am extremely upset with IBM for this blatant shift of jobs from Americans to overseas at one of the most critical economic times in history. Given the excellent financial results there is no justification for this beyond executing on the plan of "workforce rebalancing" of jobs overseas. It is heartless, self centered and against everything then new Presidential administration is trying to get done. I posted an entry on http://www.whitehouse.gov/contact/ as suggested earlier. Please let's all do the same. That is the only real leverage we can hope will make a difference. -Lets All do something-
    • Comment 1/24/09: To "leaving ibm feel good": Are you from the Toronto lab? If so, you can find more info re:severance pay here: http://www.labour.gov.on.ca/english/es/guide/guide_15.html & http://www.labour.gov.on.ca/english/es/guide/guide_16.html But since you only have 2 years, it sounds like 2 weeks is the right number. You should consult a lawyer to confirm. I just contacted mine to confirm the numbers. -GC-
    • Comment 1/24/09: to GC: I am not sure if the exception to 10% rule applies in this case. Isn't it an exception if 10% include people who have been with the company for less than 3 months? Most of the people that I know are at least 5 years. Did we meet at Yorkdale mall once outside IBM? -Toronto_Lab-
    • Comment 1/24/09: To "Need to commiserate": excellent idea! I have created a Yahoo group so we can offer mutual support and eventually meet in person. http://groups.yahoo.com/group/RAed2009 Please pass the word on to your colleagues who got the axe. You can post messages there right away (it's an "open" group). -soon-to-be-ex-SWG-
    • Comment 1/24/09: Consulted attorney over this "construcitve discharge", or the offer to relocate with no relocation, or you will be seen as resigning. There may be cause to another class action to collect severance. The only problem is we need numbers of people affected, and names. Anyone know if there are any records being put together of layoffs and constructive discharges? -anynomous-
    • Comment 1/24/09: STG/RTP - My manager, (x-Series development) has schedule one-on-ones with each and every employee in the department for Tuesday. -Squeal Like a Pig-
    • Comment 1/24/09: I, too am aghast at what IBM is doing to fellow AMERICANS -this blatant shift of jobs from Americans to overseas or even here in US to L1 Visa slave labor. If they were required to pay prevailing wages to L1 employees it would be fair competition but the government has no such rules!! Even spouses of L1 can come and start working - No caps/quotas either. It is heartless, self centered and against everything the new Presidential administration is trying to get done. I too posted an entry on http://www.whitehouse.gov/contact/ as suggested earlier. Please let's all do the same. That is the only real leverage we can hope will make a difference. - It is a class war between greedy execs at Big Corps vs poor/middle class citizens. -Disgusted with IBM-
    • Comment 1/24/09: I have been RA'ed from the Toronto Lab, SWG. I don't see anything in the severance package which states the departments and number of people being let go as other poster's have said they received in their package? Am I missing something in my package? Also, I'm very curious to find out if we are able to fight for a higher payout? I've been here for 10 years and got about 6 months severance. -ThrownOutLikeTrash-
    • Comment 1/24/09: It's sad to hear about so many “older” IBMers getting the axe. I remember the global diversity training 2 years ago the emphasized the value of older, experienced employees. Of course, true to IBM form, 3 months they rolled out a merit program that gave preference to lower paid employees. So much for embracing the older employees. Such hypocrisy.

      I actually haven't officially been told I'm on the list, but my brilliant boss told me unofficially in a ST chat... yesterday I got a lovely invitation to a meeting (over the phone) entitled “Personal – RA”. Such as warm and caring man. So, on Tuesday the axe falls. I have a daughter in college, a mortgage and I'm the sole bread winner. Scary yes? The worst thing that could happen to me? No. I would have preferred last year when the economy was better, but life goes on. Also, in AZ the maximum unemployment benefit is $240 a week, so I'm already looking. Best of luck to all of you. Has the Board given any thought to how much money they could save by finding a younger CEO? -53andRA'd-

    • Comment 1/24/09: All: Write to President Obama and tell him about the unjust layoffs. Here 's the link:http://www.whitehouse.gov/contact/ This is what I wrote: Mr. President: IBM recently reported record profits and now is contributing to the demise of our county by laying off 16,000 employees in strategic small groups, neglecting labor laws and going unnoticed in the news. Most of these jobs whether they want to admit it or not are going overseas. Why are we letting this company get away with this? Here's a site that can provide more information with feedback from employees being affected NOW. http://www.allianceibm.org/jobcutstatusandcomments.php -fed_up!!-
    • Comment 1/24/09: Leaving-Soon-Anyway, from what I understand if you volunteer you don't get any severance. Something to verify and consider if you have many years with IBM. Regardless, I think the list was made awhile ago so even if you volunteer it may not make any difference. -it's-a-bittersweet-thing-
    • Comment 1/24/09: To all that are going through an RA, I went through this prior to Xmas and I too thought there were jobs available in IBM and proceeded to apply for 34 jobs. I far qualified for probably 12 of them but when managers wanted to hire me, they were told their areas were frozen. I continued to look for jobs all the way up to my last day, Dec 10th. Finally I accepted it. I went home and then pulled out an old notebook and lo and behold there laid my goals for 2008. The first one "Find a new job inside or outside of IBM that provides you a great self-accomplishment feeling at the end of the day". I look back and yes, I stayed for the big payout of 6.5 months of severance, as I have a family and all, but today - pretty much 4 weeks after my last day (if you remove the 2 weeks of xmas holiday), I'm employed again, making more money on the hour as a contractor on a 1 year contract. Sure, it's contract work, but as a recruiter told me, it's more secure to be a contractor these days it seems than a full time employee.

      So, I'm working at a place where full time employees are being let go and I'm drawing $78/hour. I also just got a call for a full time position that I'll be interviewing for next week. I have to say that it's been a long time coming, but I'm finally happier now than I was before and my career is looking up as I'm getting more experience as a contractor than from my pigeon hole job I had at IBM. Best to luck to those that are still there. For those that have been RAed, put it behind you as everyone else I've spoken to that's left IBM has said later that it the best thing that's happen to them. Look around your neighborhoods and realize that all your neighbors don't work for this one company, they work for many others. There are good companies still left in USA. -Ex IBMer in Austin-

    • Comment 1/24/09: Just came across a news item on Slashdot where Senator Chuck Grassley has asked Microsoft for details about its layoffs. If you have been RA'd from IBM, you can contact him here: http://grassley.senate.gov/contact.cfm and inform him about Sam's lack of a sense of decency. I'm not a fan of Ballmer either, but if you read his letter to employees, you will notice the difference between a decent man, and a man like Sam who -Not laid off...yet-
    • Comment 1/24/09: Well its been a few months since I posted, but what I posted in the past has clearly come true. Several of us have tried to give our fellow ibm'ers a heads up that things were head south quickly. My last mention was that there was a heavy push to eliminate 08A's in the USA. Customer facing roles are not a criteria anymore. Remember the days of customer sat? LMAO! that criteria has now changed to who has the better lawyers. That doesnt get repeat business.. so think about it and what is really going on.

      As everyone has pointed out, those in the ivory tower are crushing the worker bee's to benefit from stock options. Work life balance ... doing what is right for the company? squaring away those who make it all happen?... thats gone. The North American work force will continue to be reduced until there is a skeleton staff, for the accounts that will ONLY utilize North American forces. Its greed through and through.. record profits and and zero raises, increased insurnace cost.

      IBM has continued down this path since Lou left. Dont expect anything different either. IBM couldn't compete with TATA, so this industry is in a race to the bottom. The light at the end of the tunnel is multi - pronged. First, a large segment of corporate America know sees that ibm isnt that magical anymore.. its another body shop. The prestige is gone.. courtesy of upper management. This is NOT a reflection of our work, but a reflection of what has been imposed on us. Our pipeline is dwindling. All of the ibm'ers who got fed up or RA'd, have moved into roles in corporate America, that deceide wether ibm is going to get work in their company. I know of several multi-million dollar contracts that have been lost to ACN and HP due to this.

      The botique houses are seeing more and more work because of this drop in satifaction. Channel partners are getting more business as well. (That was not an intentional result, but a ramification from piss poor management) Those who remain, dont continue to burn your hand on the stove, sign up, talk to your co-workers get the Alliance into ibm NOW. By the time the smoke clears the target for North America is around 35K employees. People laughed at Cringley... guess what... -SoreSphincter-

    • Comment 1/24/09: For those who has been RA'd, I feel your pain. I was RA'd back in 07, but still have plenty of friends in upper management. The world is different from what your experiencing in ibm. The market is tight, but it will get better. The sweatshop mentaility of ibm, is not common in the workforce. For the time being, having ibm on your resume will open doors for you, but those days are diminishing. For everyone of you that got RA'd, I suggest the following:
      1. Give up on getting another job in IBM.. you have been added to the list and written off already.. its not going to happen. - Look, but dont count on it.. your have read it enough times here.. it doesnt happen.
      2. Go and send Thanks Awards to your friends (If they still have that program)
      3. Go and order the educational CD's.. you can get a set number each year at no cost.
      4. Download training course content.. get as much education as you can for free, while you can.
      5. Copy ALL of your performance reviews (PBC's) all of your education details - performance awards.. etc.
      6. Copy and print our your contact lists.
      7. Use all of your benefits... including the $2500 retraining benefit.. you earned it.. use it.

      Hold your head high... I got whacked with a PBC rating of 1.. its NOTHING to do with you or your peformance... its all upper management and bean counters. Life is MUCH better outside of ibm..the sweatshop - fear based management is not common outside. Turn about is fair play - When you get outside and land into a role with another organization.. remember just how you were treated. Times are tough tight now.. its going to be a roller coaster. Go thru all of your expenses and document them.. start living on as tight of a budget as you can. Write your congressional reps..until laws are enacted, the gutting of the middle class will continue thru outsourcing and in sourcing. (H1B Scams) My thoughts and prayers are with all of you. Your ibm'ers.. you will make it through this bump in the road. Its a year plus later and I am smiling, so will you. Life is MUCH better outside of ibm. Organize and get alliance for those who are still there.. step up and spend the monthly to support Alliance as well...

    • Comment 1/24/09: I was informed by my FLM, as well as a friend who is also a FLM, the goal within ITD US, for SSO, is to have the clear majority of all employees working out of the three GDF sites (Fishkill, Boulder and the new Iowa site). A SMALL fraction of employees will still be able to work from home. They are doing this in phases, several Service Lines/Competencies at a time. There will be no M&L expenses paid. For the thousands of us that still work for IBM in ITD SSO (as well as SARM, TIM, EUS, etc..) and put up with all the BS by justifying "well at least I have the flexibility to work from home" - this benefit will soon disappear. Your job will be moved to a GDF site, and if you choose NOT to move, you will be asked to train your replacement at the GDF. As a matter of fact there are open job posts for SAs and other roles at these sites. They will be filled by new hires. And the rest of us experienced highly skilled IBMers who decide NOT to move to these massive cubicle farms will be let go - WITHOUT severance pay. Those are the facts. -Big Bad Blue-
    • Comment 1/24/09: Once I succeeded in changing the rating at the second line, the other time was at the third line. In both situations, however, I had strong documentation supporting my case. First example, I received an award as the outstanding technical specialist for a six state region, followed by a 2 appraisal. I also had some customer letters and such. This was bumped up to a 1 on appeal. Second example: Even though I asked several times throughout the year, my manager failed to give me a performance plan. (After the first time not getting it, I began making documenting the requests.) At appraisal time, of course, the plan was there, along with his assessment of how I did (3). I wasted no time bucking this upward. My rating was changed to 2, and I imagine the manager got his tail feathers singed. -Scaly Salamander-
    • Comment 1/24/09: SWG Software Engineer in RTP. 4 years service + 6 years from an acquisition (which probably won't count towards severance). Had a 1 PBC every year at IBM until this one, where I was given a 2 the afternoon before I was RA'd. -Profits up my ass!-
    • Comment 1/24/09: Here's an article from about a year ago, but I didn't see it in your outsourcing section: http://www.business-standard.com/india/storypage.php?autono=310003 Key quote, "IBM with the intention to base one-third of its global services staff in India would increase its headcount in the country to 1.10 lakh in the next two years." 1.10 lakh means 110,000. If you add the Indian citizens working in the US (or maybe even without them), I'm guessing that would move India ahead of the US in number of employees by year end. -Mike-
    • Comment 1/24/09: I ran into some recruiters from IBM China at Somers site last week. They r hiring new employees in the states to work in the finance/accounting area in IBM China. MBA dgree is a must and the monthly salary is only RMB4,000, which is about USD580. Tell u the truth, with that little money, it's very hard to make a living in Beijing China too. I'm speechless! -IBMer in the accounting ar
    • Comment 1/24/09: A former manager, who is now a division level executive, confirmed to me what others have said here. The divisions have all slammed the doors shut to any inter-divisional transfers. Although various divisions do have job openings posted, they are not allowed to fill them from outside the division, no matter how good the worker or how much they need to fill the spot. So for those who have been given notice that they are a target in the RA, their only option will be to find another job within their own division - something that is not likely to happen. -I Thought So-
    • Comment 1/24/09: The target for Americans is 5% of workforce. The overall targets are: Target Ratio: 80 - 90% in GDC (offshore), 20 - 10% onshore (20% onshore is 5% domestic, - Americans, 15% landed - foreigners on H-1B and other visas). -anonymous-
    • Comment 1/24/09: -One Theory- mentions, "Since employees are given 30 days to find another job within IBM (I know, I know probably near impossible), people aren't technically laid off yet so maybe that is why it's not in the news yet." This makes sense. IBM can say at this time, it doesn't know how many people have been laid off because all the people 'selected' could find another position within the company... really sneaky. -one theory may be right-
    • Comment 1/24/09: Hello. I was "selected for surplus" -- I think that is the obscene phrase that appeared in my package. For former Rational staff who have also been RA'd, can you tell me whether your time with Rational counts as part of your total employment? I am being told that only time since IBM March 2003 (when IBM bought Rational) is relevant to calculating my severance. -Ida-
    • Comment 1/24/09: For those of you in North Carolina asking about Unemployment Insurance benefits here is a link to the North Carolina Employment Security Commission FAQ on applying for benefits. https://www.ncesc.com/individual/webInitialClaims/applyBegin.asp -anonymous-
    • Comment 1/24/09: Matt Drudge of Drudge report has jumped the shark, He refuses to report on IBM layoffs, just like the mainstream media, at one time he was respected as a person to report news, he has become nothing more than like mainstream news lackey, refusing to report news. Doesnt give a crap about IBMer's. He probably is using IBM software and cannot act . Sorry Matt Drudge jumped the shark and is no longer relevant, Sorry Matt, we used to respect you, no more, you sold out -anonymous-
    • Comment 1/24/09: My manager too has scheduled 1x1s w/ all the team on Tuesday. Rochester-STG. -Still waiting in Rochester-
    • Comment 1/24/09: Well I didn't get RA'd ....they just stuck the knife in halfway ....28 yrs ....under 52 and always a 2+ .... this time a 3. Now I gota wait.....Hey they want to give me more work to improve my rating....FU IBM -anonymous-15-
    • Comment 1/24/09: To all Upper IBM managements and Sam: SHAME ON ALL OF YOU for showing your IBM value. You have taken credits from all of us, the hard working ones, profit billions, let us down at the most difficult time in the history of the U.S. economy. Your RA not only ruined families but also crushed dreams that all of us once had. -forsaken good IBMers-
  • General Visitor's Comment page
    • Comment 1/21/09: I sat in a meeting today, but it was not a so called one on one with my manager to be told I have 30 days. No, that meeting was 2 years ago. I sat in a meeting at my new company with the group to go over our new benefits for this year. My prayers go out to all of you getting that 30 day notice today or this week. I've been there done that and know how it feels and hope to never feel that way again. All I can say is that life does go on. When one door closes another one opens, and you too, will find another job, and forget about the crappy job you once had at Big Blow. God Bless. -Ben Efit-
    • Comment 1/21/09: So.. regarding GTS's "Green" Data Centers. How is it green to take home-working employees who are distributed across the country/world and tell them that they must move across the country to a defined central location and drive to work every day? (or lose their jobs.. right to work you know?) Maybe the press should hear that one. -BlueGreen envy
    • Comment 1/22/09: When an individual's PBC rating was challenged and the individual attempted to discuss with leads what might be assigned verse extra work and what their leads thought of their contribution to the specific team (room for improvement and so on), the individual was told by management that no employee may discuss how well they are doing, relative contribution to a team, or what an individual's core assignments are with anyone other than their manager. It was refused to provide this in writing. The individual was threaten with being escorted out of the building for insubordination if they did not comply. Any thoughts on this? -NA-
    • Comment 1/23/09: To -NA- This is called managing by intimidation. It is the way managers control employees and keep them cowering in the corner hiding from the big bad manager. Most team leads are in the position because they are the best and most vicous brown nosers the world has ever seen. The manager relies on them to give him enough dirt to keep you appraised low but forbids you from asking him or her why they said what they said to the manager. By asking the lead you are calling the manager a liar. Thats why the lead ran back to the manager and told him you asked. Worst case they may have to syncronize their lies if you have any chance to open door. If you are a 3 you have no chance. No one upstream would risk damaging their reputation by taking your side. An IBM with a union would of course have a shop steward and union representation to help you achieve more and be fairly appraised. Kind of like a mentor system that IBM pretends to have . Expect the person who challenged management to be the prime target in the next RA. Once a manager has decided to rule by intimidation he or she cannot ever let someone challenge them. Its against their nature. -Exodus2007- Alliance Reply: Exodus2007, please send an email to us, with your contact information (Contact Us). We would like to discuss some things with you.
    • Comment 1/23/09: Why can't we get the SEC to investigate Sam on insider trading? He sold 540K stock options in August. Then the stock and economy tanked. Coincidence? Nice timing? Or is this loser CEO just plain lucky? -SEC_Sam_is_a_sham-
    • Comment 1/23/09: With the record earnings in all of 2008 for IBM, this new business model IBM\'s rolling out, the mass layoffs happening now. All this is lining the executives' pockets, I wouldn't be surprised to see a stock split this year. It would let the rich get richer (i.e the executives in IBM), but if you've been taking part in the ESPP, or if you're of the select few that have stock options or RSUs, it could benefit you too. ESPP shares are yours, regardless of termination cause. Vested RSUs are yours. Not sure about vested options, but unexercised - I'm guessing you'd give those up if you left the company for whatever reason. -rich_get_richer-
    • Comment 1/23/09: In the Midst of IBM making record profits, they continue playing hard ball with their employees. There are substantiations that there is a huge layoff in the process, however, IBM is not commenting. Where is the man with bravery that is running this giant of a company. With 400,000 employees world wide and presently around 86,000 in India, the Out-Sourcing continues. Just how many employees are left in the USA? Why is this Resource Action (layoff) such a secret? Is IBM Being accountable for the Tax Dollars it is receiving from local and federal government? Why doesn't CNN cover this story to get IBM executives to be real brave american citizens and Speak up? Maybe Microsoft can show them how to be accoutable by explaining the press conference they held for their 5000 layed off this week. It has been leaked out by a reliable managerial source that the layoff is around 14,000 employees. Most of these to be US Based. It is also estmated that IBM US Based employee count is decreasing quite rapidly. When will we hear a report from CNN? Other dirty politics by IBM recently, is they are Forcing system's administrators to relocate within 50 miles of commuting to one of their Global Delivery Facilities. Question: Is IBM sleeping with someone at CNN? Regards, -IBM Employee dreading the axe-
    • Comment 1/24/09: To -NA- To ask peers and team leads their opinion of how you are doing in general should be fine. In fact we used to do a thing called a 360 where you rated your peers at their request. If you are new to a team you should have a mentor whom you can ask. Asking them in a way that challenges the manager would always be frowned on and in todays environment would be a good excuse to show you the door as it were.

      Managers have always lied and said things like your peers say you are difficult to work with etc when they wanted an excuse that would be very hard for you to dispute in an open door. They do this when their is no real basis to lower your appraisal that could not be challenged succesfully. A marketing person who is exceeding all quotas and measurements but the manager does not like may be accused of something lame like damaging morale on the team by stealing leads or by appearing arrogant among peer etc so they cannot dispute it easily.

      In general if this is happening to you and there is no chance your manager is leaving anytime soon better start looking for a job. It is almost impossible to fight in my experience and always ends up bad for the employee in the long run. If you are in a team with a manager who has been in place a long time and his chosen few, the team leads have also been in place a long time they will cover each other till the end and you have no chance. If any one else is aware of how to beat this by all means speak up but in my humble opinion it is one of the major problems within IBM today. -Exodus2007-

    • Comment 1/25/09: NA, IMHO you are in trouble. Your mgr has labelled you a troublemaker, no matter what you might do to rid yourself of the label. Even if you don't hit the chopping block, you will never get fair reviews. I suggest you start looking immediately. I too questioned 'relative contribution'. I wanted to know how many hours other on my team billed. (Utilization is the only thing that counts in PBC in GBS). "Can't tell you that" was the response. Well, how am I supposed to measure myself against coworkers if I don't know what they're doing? I didn't get labelled, because I was already the newbie and not one of my manglers favorites, but I started looking for a job and finally left IBM 12/31. -marbles-
    • Comment 1/26/09: The 360 review was nice, but pretty obvious why they did away with it. Poor performers were getting high reviews because they'd use a friend who wouldn't speak negatively of them. The current PBC assessment is bogus as well. First lines rely on team leads for a majority of the input. If you're not a brown noser, or challenge the team leads direction you're pretty much stuck with a 2 or 3. -waiting_for_the_axe-
    • Comment 1/26/09: I am an IBMer who just went on LTD, and was shocked to find out that an LTD is treated as a termination. Nothing in the LTD documentation online mentioned anything about LTD as termination... does anybody have any experience with this? -anonymous-
    • Comment 1/27/09: LTD is considered as resigning. it is in the documents that you signed. -retired-
  • Pension Comments page
    • Comment 1/26/09: It is outrageous that our pension fund management is petitioning the government for a handout after Sam & Lou stole $70+ BILLION out of it!!! Time to write congress and demand heads on pikes. -TM-
    • Comment 1/28/09: How come it does not make news when IBM asks the government for help with their pension fund while flying around in corp. jets? I guess the auto industry did not buy off the industry rags, Wash DC, etc. -Anonymous-
  • Raise and Salary Comments
    • Comment 01/21/09: Salary = 87000; Band Level = 8; Job Title = software engineer; Years Service = 7; Hours/Week = 45; Div Name = currently STG; Location = work from home; Message = 5% raise when I was promoted to band 8 a couple years ago. A whopping 3 percent for the promotion and 2% for merit increase. Other raises have been 2.6%, 0, 3%. I was layed off in 2007 a year after being promoted to band 8, with a 2+ rating, and with a CS PhD. I was one of the lucky one who found an internal job within the 30 day notice. -workerbee3-
    • Comment 01/21/09: Your GDP for IBM's record 2008 results is gonna suck in the USA. The GDP pool is a tad less than less years. Go figure. -anonymous-
    • Comment 01/21/09: Salary = 142500; Band Level = 9; Job Title = RSM; Years Service = 5; Hours/Week = 40; Div Name = Research; Location = Yorktown; Message = Been in a very good group/department during my tenure at IBM. Now I feel strong motivation for a job change. Staying at the current place starts to limit my career development. -Look_for_change-
    • Comment 01/22/09: Salary = $70k plus commission; Band Level = 6; Job Title = SW Sales Rep; Years Service = 3; Hours/Week = 40+; Div Name = SWG; Location = NYC; Message = I got a raise last year from $68K to $70K, nothing amazing, but with commissions I'll be making $100K+, so I'm not complaining too much. I was one of the lucky ones not to get laid off yesterday, but in this "what have you done for me lately" climate, I'm going to be cautious, I hear a June layoff is just around the corner. -anonymous-
    • Comment 01/22/09: Salary = 130,200; Band Level = 9; Job Title = Engineer; Years Service = 29; Hours/Week = 50; Div Name = S&TG; Location = Fishkill; Message = fishkill chip fab -Dont_hurt_me-
    • Comment 01/23/09: Salary = 83K; Band Level = 7; Job Title = Software Engineer; Years Service = 6; Hours/Week = 40; Div Name = SWG; Location = Northeast; Message = -Jay-
    • Comment 01/24/09: Salary = 77K; Band Level = 7; Job Title = SW Engineer; Years Service = 25; Hours/Week = 50; Div Name = SWG; Location = RTP; Message = -Mary-
    • Comment 01/26/09: Salary = 83k; Band Level = 8; Job Title = Pre Sales Analyst; Years Service = 2; Hours/Week = 40; Div Name = 7H; Location = Costa Mesa; Message = Just got notification of a layoff on Jan 21, 2008 -Anonymous-
    • Comment 01/26/09: Salary = 48k; Band Level = 3; Job Title = band 3; Years Service = 20; Hours/Week = 42; Div Name = 29, technology; Location = btv; Message = 20 years of 2+ or better 48k, not much huh, thanks big blue -btv4001-
  • PBC Comments
    • Comment 1/19/09: For all you folks that got downgraded to a PBC "2" or "3": Have you joined the Alliance? If not, then just deal with it! If you are not part of the solution then IBM will treat you as part of the problem. I know it's sad: but all so true. -tough_luv-
    • Comment 1/20/09: Prior Yr PBC = 2; This Yr PBC = 2; Message = It would be helpful if folks who got downgraded could post their division here so we can recognize the trends. -Anonymous1@BTV-
    • Comment 1/20/09: Just found out that our ratings have already been set, but managers are still writing up the PBC result assessment. Can this possibly be legit? I thought managers waited for our PBC write-up, responded with their comments and assessments, and chose a rating based on our PBC results. In this case, members of my team have already gotten their ratings, even though managers have not finished the PBC writeup. -is there a process or not-
    • Comment 1/20/09: IBM made it's 4th qtr numbers so overall 2008 was an UP year. Let's see if we get more GDP money come March. The trend has been lower and lower payouts over the years no matter how IBM does. You can bet IBM will say it has to curb GDP since the "global economy is in an uncertain time". So that means you'll get less. Bank on it. -anonymous-
    • Comment 1/20/09: Anyonre who got a PBC "3" from a PBC "2+" get an interim warning or review during the year that your appraisal has been/or could be going down? If not then I wouild blast your friggin' manager as not doing his/her job! -anonymous-
    • Comment 1/20/09: Prior Yr PBC = 2; This Yr PBC = 3; Message = I've been told I am getting a separation package. I am in SWG. The PBC rating was completely artificial, and if you're not an a$$-kisser you probably got (or will get) downgraded. I won't be sorry to leave this place. -Anonymous-
    • Comment 1/21/09: Country = USA; Union Affiliate = No; Job Title = Marketing Manager; IBM Division = 81; Message = Anyone can help: does a once PBC rating of 1 protect an employee from being downsized? If yes, how many years it may protect? -AN IBMer-
    • Comment 1/21/09: To isthereaprocessornot The managers usually have your estimated PBC rating establshed by August. It takes a miracle to change it after that (at least upward). The actual writing up of results etc is pure window dressing -Usedtobeamanager-
    • Comment 1/22/09: Prior Yr PBC = 2+; This Yr PBC = 1; This Yr Bonus = NA; Prior Yr Bonus = 11%; Message = well I hav completed 19 months in IBM, and I think Managment is changing its approach towards dedicated and talented employees ,Hard work is not being ignored anymore....I am not expceting good/decent bonus this year (reason: current economic recession) Got good ratings so happy for a while :) -techgal-
    • Comment 1/22/09: Prior Yr PBC = 2+; This Yr PBC = 2+; This Yr Bonus = ?; Prior Yr Bonus = 3.5%; Message = I am safe for today, but who knows what the rest of 2009 will bring. -just1waiting-
    • Comment 1/23/09: Message = To -is there a process or not- There is a process, but it's not the process published on w3. HR establishes "what a rating spread should look like in an average organization like IBM." This information is rolled down through the directors and third lines to the second lines. They claim there is no skew, but again the skew is provided to the second line. In February, the second line manager has "calibration sessions" with their first lines, and ratings are established at that time. Over the course of the year, to move one person up, you must move another person down, so that the skew is preserved. THEN, the actual ratings are loaded in the tool in OCTOBER. YOUR OFFICIAL RATING IS LOADED IN THE TOOL IN OCTOBER. There are exceptions to every rule, but 98% of the time, this is how it works. -Former 1st Line-
    • Comment 1/23/09: -techgal- What flavor of that IBM Corporate Kool-Aid are they serving you? Kool excuse for IBM to not give you what you deserve based on the economy. Gee, IBM luvs this thinking by you. You are easily brainwashed, indoctrinated, controlled. Gee that Kool-Aid they are giving you must taste oh so great cold and sweet, huh? Just wait. The longer you work for IBM the "better" it'll get. Believe me. You might be "good" in their eyes today and a blip on the radar the next. IBM has no morals. Your just a piece of meat. A true work widget. Nothing more to them. -voice_of_truth-
    • Comment 1/24/09: Why don't they change the PBC now to a "thumbs up and thumbs down" system? So if you get thumbs up you are still mployed. thumbs down your RA'ed. It's really what this stupid PBC appraisal process has turned out to be. -anonymous-
    • Comment 1/24/09: Prior Yr PBC = 2; This Yr PBC = 3; This Yr Bonus = 2%; Prior Yr Bonus = haha; Message = Got a 3 this year, was told I am not being managed out. I figure that means I'm being managed out. I disagree with the rating and did not get any such negative feedback during the year... Is it worth trying to appeal? I get the feeling a 3 is the "kiss of death" and even if I don't get RAd, I would never be eligible for a promotion after this. Anybody ever recover from a 3? -Keep Dreaming-
    • Comment 1/24/09: PBC has got nothing to do with your performance or your work .In our group (which has been RA'ed completly) you get a 1 consistently if you brown nose the manager and he likes you, Nothing to do wth your work. You get a 3 and your vacations are denied if your manager hates you and again it has to do nothing with your work at all. -Anonymous-
    • Comment 1/24/09: Prior Yr PBC = 1; This Yr PBC = 3; This Yr Bonus = $0; Prior Yr Bonus = $9400; Message = From a 1 to a 3 in one year with a nice RA to boot. What a setup! -RA'd in RTP-
    • Comment 1/24/09: Prior Yr PBC = 2+; This Yr PBC = 3; This Yr Bonus = NA; Prior Yr Bonus = 4000; Message = Ended 2nd yr in IBM. This year worked twice as hard and put in much more hours, but got lower PBC. I am very disappointed and discouraged. -Hard worker-
    • Comment 1/25/09: Prior Yr PBC = 2+; This Yr PBC = 3; This Yr Bonus = ??; Prior Yr Bonus = 8%; Message = I disagreed strongly with my new rating, but Brutus has seem eager disciples still living. During my review I was also told that I am an excellent DBA, etc. But my manager was out on Short Term Disability for a couple of months, and my rating was done by another manager, who was/is clueless as to activity at our account. Oh, we were outsourced in 2006, and have a clueless "account team" . Being older than the average I expect to get worked out/turned loose in a year or two, so I've started looking again. BTW amoral is more accurate than "no morals". -Vaatjie-
    • Comment 1/26/09: To Keep Dreaming: I recovered from a 3 twice. Each time I choose not to fight it. The process you will go through with your manager this year will be quite humiliating. If you work hard and constantly keep your manager updated on what you are working on you will survive it. The primary reason for my low appraisals was doing tasks that lacked exposure. Document weekly everything you do and send it to your manager. Don't tell your coworkers you got a 3. They will show you no sympathy. I know of a coworker that got a 3 and was told he was on the bottom of the list. A large RA occurred that year and he wasn't touched. So getting a 3 is NOT the Kiss of death. There was an RA each year I got my 3s and I wasn't touched either. Convince your manager that you are adding value and that he/she was wrong about you. -Anonymous-
    • Comment 1/26/09: Prior Yr PBC = 2; This Yr PBC = 2+; This Yr Bonus = ?; Prior Yr Bonus = 3%; Message = I felt this rating was fair as assessed against my PBC goals. I don't always feel this way regarding IBM's performance management systems. Now to see how raises and bonuses stack up. -Anon-
    • Comment 1/26/09: Prior Yr PBC = 2+; This Yr PBC = 2; This Yr Bonus = none; Prior Yr Bonus = 2,000; Message = I was a first line manager and left after working a lot of overtime (with no pay), disregarding US holidays so India wouldn't "feel bad", and managing over 30 individuals when I was told a maximium of 12. It's a well known fact that when you leave, the manager will always give you a 2 so that you cannot receive a bonus in spite of all the hard work you do and the many "policies" to follow. It would have been a better process if people strictly received profit sharing. At least no one can take away from you what was earned and it truly an entreprenurial practice. -Michele-
  • International Comments
    • Comment 01/28/09: Country = Eire Union Affiliate = No Job Title = Jack of all Trades IBM Division = Server Message = Can anyone shed any light on rumers and stories we are hearing here ,Talk of 180 to go --
Vault Message Board Posts
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Vault's IBM Business Consulting Services message board is a popular hangout for IBM BCS employees, including many employees acquired from PwC. A few sample posts follow:

  • "Don't worry IBM will spin it!" by "omegadoom". Full excerpt: IBM announced their earnings today. In the CNN article Sam P. Says: "IBM expects to profit from massive economic stimulus programs that are being discussed in the United States and other countries, including potential government spending on "smart energy grids" and "health care IT," Palmisano said. Of course IBM, a "US" company, wins the contracts and then staffs it with 'onshore' 'offshore' resources. Worst case, IBM cries mea culpa and pays a small fine while US based IT resources pan handle.
If you hire good people and treat them well, they will try to do a good job. They will stimulate one another by their vigor and example. They will set a fast pace for themselves. Then if they are well led and occasionally inspired, if they understand what the company is trying to do and know they will share in its sucess, they will contribute in a major way. The customer will get the superior service he is looking for. The result is profit to customers, employees, and to stcckholders. —Thomas J. Watson, Jr., from A Business and Its Beliefs: The Ideas That Helped Build IBM.

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